Sunday, August 20, 2006

T-minus one week.

That's how long it will be until things return to normal. By "things" I do not exactly mean work, which begins in earnest this week. Nor do I mean an end to moving-related settling-in-type projects. Those seem destined to last and last. There is progress, of course: now you can get hot water out of the kitchen faucet, thanks to the removal of the world's largest chunk of rust. Also, the front porch can be seen at last, freed from the virtually solid layer of grime and dirt. We will have a new towel bar in the bathroom by the end of the day. But against this progress is the seemingly irresistable force of This Old House. We were nosing around in the basement last night, looking in a couple of boxes that contain old light fixtures and lighting parts. The PP went to unwrap one glass shade or another when a dead snake popped out of the box along with some wrapping. "I am getting so tired," he said, "of mother$*(#ing snakes ... in the mother$*(#ing basement!"

No, what I mean by "things" is swimming. For much of the summer I kept a fairly regular swimming schedule, swimming maybe 3-4 times a week (instead of the 5-7 I did at the peak of my training in the spring). And I had added in some weight-lifting, which seemed to be the perfect off-season activity. But then, well, the move. Weight-lifting in the weightroom was replaced by the hauling of boxes hither and yon. During the first week or two we were here, I could have swum, but we were so busy all the time with house unpacking, that I often felt I could not afford the time or the energy. Now the team is on its summer shut-down, and practices resume next Monday.

I cannot wait, because I am feeling flabby and out of shape.

I do not think I am going to set any serious goals for myself this year. Last year it was competing at SCY Nationals and the year before that it was working for my first national qualifying time. But this year I think I want to just swim, enjoy the sport for itself, do the local meets (in SC, NC, and Georgia), swim hard, work on my technique (especially fly), but not try for particular times or train for particular meets. In other words, it is a recovery season, both mentally and physically. I know there will be a lot of new things going on here in the big city, and I will need the flexibility to respond to whatever those are.

But meanwhile, I cannot wait to get back in the water.

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