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Friday, January 12, 2007

all good swims come to an end?

Saturday. My last swimming tournament before leaving. Wanted to break the one club record on the breast stroke I did not have yet (small ambitions are still ambitions). The signs were bad. Ate Deep Freeze Spinach the night before that obviously had, somewhere in it's career, passed the 'deep' barrier. At least, it wanted to leave my stomach badly starting 11 o'clock at night. But after several nightly stops in the bathroom I stepped into a fellow club member's car to drive to Zwolle. The question 'why am I (still) doing this' only slowly started to creep up during my 200 meters breast stroke. It all went reasonably well, but on the last turn something in my shoulder snapped. Ah well, there goes. Not enough warm-up. Too old for this. Too little training. Anyway: too many thoughts during the final lane. Missed the record by three quarters of a second. Did not miss out on pain though, coming out of the water. AnneMarie (team member) gave some massage, but the shoulder decided to keep punishing me for trying too hard.

Funny thing about swimming and my own mental drive though: had to do the 100 meters freestyle later. Usually I start like lightning and end like a beached whale, but this time I decided to start more slowly, because I felt I would only survive going on technique and keeping the shoulder still as possible. Amazingly I managed to finish in a sprint. And took more than a second off my personal best. Bizarre tricks of the body or is it a mental thing? Even at 45, you can still better yourself, if the circumstances give you just that little extra you need..
After 8 years of competitive swimming, this felt like a surprisingly good ending.
For now. We'll see whether I feel like taking it up again after returning, or if another good thing has come to and end, making room for something new.

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