I wrote this two years ago. I am re-posting it today because my father’s birthday was yesterday and Fathers’ Day is Sunday, so I am especially thinking of my Dad.
We were on the starting blocks.
“Swimmers, take your marks.”
Each assumes the position, poised for the signal.
AAAAAAAAAA. Rather than a starter’s gun, the signal is an electronic buzz through speakers. It echoes in the high-ceilinged pool venue.
The swimmers uncoil, fly horizontally for a moment, and angle into the water with momentum pointed toward the other end of the pool.
As soon as the momentum wanes, with arms forward, legs moving together with a rhythmic dolphin kick, I initiate the first arm movement of the butterfly stroke. The race is on.
In the individual medley (IM) event, all four competitive swimming strokes are employed, in the following order: butterfly, back stroke, breast stroke, and freestyle. This was a 200 meter IM in a 25 meter pool, so participants swim 50 meters, i.e., two lengths of the pool, of each stroke. If it was on a track, the distance is about half-way around a football field. I don’t…
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