We see them in the winter months, just finishing their swim sessions as we stroll in for our aptly termed “slower” group. We see their swim times in the race results that look like our transition times. We see them at Dolphins all the way over on the other side putting the graceful in swimming not necessarily associated with our stroke mechanics.
Yet, for one glorious day this year, I was an elite swimmer. I lined up next to Stephanie, Marie, Robert & Rob like I belonged there. I adapted the same serious “we are all elite here doing serious swim training” look.
I gave and took with the best of them in the melee called the mass start. Warm-up and drills done, it was time for the real deal, the 1500 Time Trial, but with a twist, drafting allowed and encouraged.
The signal is given and I was alone. Yes, I did swim with Amanda for about 12 meters, but that was it. I was however swimming in the same lane as our elites, so no matter. About 2/3 of the way, I noticed a bunch of our athletes barnacled at the wall, looked suspiciously like Rob and company. What are they doing just hanging out at the wall, I thought? Oh, they’re finished and I still have 4 laps to go. Back to reality, I guess.