Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Dreams, I Am a Fish

Okay, not an actual fish with gills, bubble eyes and a tail, but fish as in swimmer.

When I was very young, I loved going to the beach with my family. With my arms around his neck, Dad would go out to where he could stand with the water up to his chest. Next, he would hold my hands and pull me up to stand on his shoulders. Still holding Dad’s hands, I would bend my knees and… JUMP! However far I landed in the water with a splash, I would turn around and swim back to him. We did this over and over. It was my favorite game!

Later in life, when I got to Second College, I decided to mix in a little physical education with the required courses. Swim class was at 7:45 AM but it was the most appealing to me. I was a decent swimmer yet through this course, I learned more and better techniques and to challenge myself.

Ever since the swim course in college, I have often been swimming in my dreams.


Today, I turned on the TV [I hardly watch the TV- I tend to watch shows over the internet nowadays]. Browsing through the programming schedule, I saw that some swimming thing was to show; it was the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships. Great! It was almost the top of the hour.

So I watched [it was a re-airing; the Nationals were from Aug. 2nd to the 6th]. The first meet I saw was the Women’s 100 Meter Freestyle event. The commentators featured a young Missy Franklin. If I remember correctly, they said she was 16 years old and had just gotten her driver’s license.

The interviewer asked something like, “Were you born to be an Olympian?” Franklin responded, with a little laugh from a huge smile, “I think I was born to do what I love to do… and that’s what I’m doing” [May not be an exact word-for-word quote, but you get the picture]. I thought that was a great answer from a 16 year old National contender.

Franklin came in first in the event with a time of 53.63 seconds.

My fastest 50 M was around the minute-20 seconds mark. I mean, that was my FASTEST. We had timed trials and our instructor kept a record, pushing/training us towards shaving off another 10 seconds off our time.

In comparison, Franklin can do a 50 M in under 27 seconds.

That’s why Franklin’s a National Champion and I’m not? Don’t I know it!


Before taking the college swim course, I don’t know if I dreamed about being in the water so much if at all. If I did, I’m sure my swimming has changed.

If I’m not in the water yet, I can’t wait to be. When I’m in the water, I warm up a little. Then I’m swimming- stroke, stroke, stroke… take a timely breath… get into rhythm… stroke, stroke, stroke, breath… stroke, stroke, stroke, breath…

Pool or ocean. Stroke, stroke, breath…

Keep my head down. Stroke, stroke, breath… Even out the rotation. Stroke, stroke, breath… Reach my arm out to stroke, stroke, breath… Extend my toes out and kick while I stroke, stroke, breath…


You get the idea.

In one swim dream, I waited for a practice to be over and for people to leave. Then I was in the pool and stroke, stroke, breath… Someone was standing on the deck, watching me. My friend and fellow swimmer commented to another person, saying, “See how she favors her right side? She’s not fully rotating on her left.” Stroke, stroke, breath…
Oh how he knows me so well… *warm fuzzy*… okay, back to business… even out the rotation… Stroke, stroke, breath…


That’s exactly what my swim instructor told me, that I don’t rotate all the way on the left side. And that’s the rhythm I chose as most comfortable to me. Some people like breathing only on one side but I like to even it out and breathe on both sides so I’m actually breathing while on every third stroke. Did I just confuse you?

It’s getting late. In the style of Edward Bloom in Big Fish, I’m drying out. Where’s my bed…?

Thank you for reading and please learn to swim safely!

P.S. By the way, those are guys in the photo, so no, I am not topless when I swim-sleep. Also, I enjoy swimming in real life as well- help me find a swim partner?