Thursday, January 13, 2011
Once again humbled
So Christmas Eve I decided to get a swim in before all the festivities started. As usual for this time of year the pool was packed with people deciding that in fact this is the year they will actually commit to being fit. While I wish them well on their journeys, I selfishly get annoyed at times when I can’t get into a lane. I realize that sounds bad, but hey, just being honest.
So I wait for a lane and start my set. While I am doing a long band set I see an older gentleman trying to keep pace with me in the lane next to me. I can tell he is intent to keep up and to his credit he does. When I finish my set he stops as well. He looks at me and tells me that was awesome, and asks me what the next set is. I really was almost done, and I usually just keep my head down in workouts as I am so often time crunched and just really want to get the work down and head out. This was Christmas Eve however and I thought, what the heck, Ill swim a short set with the guy. We do a few hundred meters together, I explain to him he was swimming great, he was, and thanked him for letting me swim with him.
He goes on to tell me how he is about 70 years old now and has enjoyed swimming for years. He said he has gone to Master World Championships a few times and is looking forward to “Aging up” so he can be the youngest in his age division once again. We discussed times and he told me he can still break 3 min for the 200 meter freestyle. He also said he used to swim a 2:08 for the distance when he was young, which really is impressive and I told him so. He explains to me that he is a “long course guy” and I am thinking 500, 1500, etc.
While talking to him a mutual friend walks up and says hello to me and my new friend. I was surprised my friend Don knew him as this guy had told me he is from the UK and is in town visiting his daughter. My friend goes on to introduce me to this man Michael Reed.
Michael Reed is President of the CSA (Channel Swimmers Association). He ha the title King of The Channel! He has the most channel crossings of anyone in history and has also swam the Nile river among other amazing endurance events. He is being inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame soon along with Ian Thorpe!
Holy crap I am glad I was nice to this guy! LOL
Michael, you are truly amazing. Congratulations on your induction and truly, thank you for sharing YOUR swim with me!