Today I went to the gym. (I have gone to the gym every day since January 1st). (I am still not hot).
But so anyway I was at the gym and I figured since I had the swim suit with me I would swim laps after my normal work out, you know, sort of like bonus calorie burning.
(Digression: I swam competitively in college, which is to say I drank a whole lot and then compensated for it by showing up to practice each afternoon and gasping my way through a division three work out in the SLOW lane. I was never in it for crushing other people with my speed and prowess. I was into detoxification and, to be perfectly honest... perfect form. I thought of nothing as I swam those laps (NOTHING! NOTHING!) except perfect form (oh and maybe should I sleep with my BFF's boyfriend... yes or no?).
So today dove into the slow lane and OH MY...
I cannot begin to tell you what the water felt like. Memories of all those mid afternoons and early mornings spent lapping back and forth across the pool rushed back my limbs and suddenly I was half way across the pool and oh my God... it was, no joke, heaven. If there is a heaven, mine has a long course swimming pool. With the little flags over the top for backstrokers.
Happy. Glide, glide, breathe glide, flip, glide, etc.
Then someone else got in my lane, and that is when the second most unexpected thing happened. I got, how you say, aggressive. Almost hostile. I had to be faster than she was and I made damn sure I was. Glide, glide, breathe flip truned into a ferocious attention to gaining time on the turns and stepping up tempo and breathing efficiently SO I COULD CRUSH THE ENEMY.
(I crushed her).
But seriously, I was surprised at myself. A lot. I haven't seen that person in a long, long time. In college, I owned the slow lane. I was the fastest person in it and my form was exquisite, but I lost races. I was just not that fast. I lived with it. I had big boobs and I drank a lot so I figured I was doing the best I could given my physical and personal limitations.
But now, at forty, with even bigger boobs, and serious limitations I won't even begin to list, all that losing has caught up with me. I don't want to be slow anymore. Or medium with good form WHATEVER ALREADY. I want to win.
And all this has me thinking: what happened? I am not competitive. I don't compare myself to others. I feel good about others' achievements. I like not standing out. RIGHT?
Well, hell if I know. In the pool at least, I am just not that person anymore. It makes me wonder what else about me is changing. (I'll take change. Pretty much everything about me is material for revision).
Love love love. It's the only thing that matters. (Ok, that and winning).