The longest swim and a fire at the pool

Monday, August 22, 2016

My goal this summer was to swim for as long as my arms could carry me. It's not the easiest thing to carve out a full morning but I was inspired by listening to all the training stories of Olympic atheletes and I finally managed to find the time. I hit the start button on my phone and hopped into the pool. I figured I had at least two hours in me. Even though I usually do a half hour warm up, it took forever to hit 30 minutes, knowing that would be a only a quarter of my swim. My mind wasn't wandering the way it usually does, too keyed up on how much time had passed, or not passed. 

It was boring. Way more boring than I anticipated. And even though the day was a hot one, and the water was the perfect temp, I was cold (I'm always cold when I'm swimming these days!)

BUT I finally got into a rhythm about an hour in, and at an an hour, fifteen I wondered if I even had more than two hours in me. 

At an hour and a half, the lifeguards started blowing their whistles—a long clear-the-pool blast. They were shouting into their megaphones. Get out of the pool. Clear the pool. Everyone out. I was an hour and a half in. I wasn't ready to stop. My arms weren't the least bit tired. I had even overridden the boredom. But lifeguards were running down the deck, telling swimmers to get their things and leave through the gates. Don't change, they insisted. There's no time.

And then the wail of sirens started coming closer. Not one fire truck, not two, not even three. There were five firetrucks lined up on Lakeshore Blvd. by the time I got out, still dripping. 

There was a fire in the pool (well, an electrical fire in the boiler room).

No one was hurt, and the pool re-opened later that day (thanks for the update, Twitter!) and the morning felt like a strange dream. 

I wasn't tired, that afternoon, or the next day. My arms weren't sore, or my legs – something I find quite astounding.

I had thought about trying again and actually hitting the two hour mark, but there are other things to do, like read on pool decks and explore new pools before the summer is over and re-watch Penny Oleksiak's gold medal race, so I'm going to have to wait till next summer to see how long my arms can swim...

Oh, and to make it through a morning without having 487894 snacks the way I usually do, I downed this epic smoothie pre-swim: avocado, coconut cream, almond butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, raspberries, maple syrup and almond milk...mmmmmmmm!

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