thanksgiving

rough week in the water for me. on monday i swam with two olympic quality swimmers, one, my coach Shelly Ripple Johnston, and the other a friend Mandy Leach. both are amazing, and both gave me the poor mouth on how out of shape they were. i am swimming more than i have in 20 years and felt okay with hanging with them for awhile. the thought that i am 10 years older than them and was never even close to their level never entered my mind. until the 3rd 400 when they said lets go 1:20 pace and they went 1:12. smoked me. period, end of story. the worst part is this is when they are supposedly out of shape. it will never get any better as they are just gonna get faster and faster. i need to laugh lest i cry! haha.
i swam 4000 on monday, 5000 on tuesday and 4000 on wednesday. i was whipped. it was the equivalent of my whole last weeks distance, so it is to be expected, first real look at what i am up against.
i got my second look today as i am in mississippi visiting my family for thanksgiving. i took an hour and drove to henderson point in pass christian, ms. all homes are gone. the bridge to bay st. louisis gone and i can see my high school a mile or so away. i questioned what and why i was doing this. i don’t know on some levels. it is about me, it is about a connection to the coast, it is about trying to help kids get fit, it is about all of this and none of this. i don’t know why, but i feel a sense of almost guilt for turning away from the coast some 17 years ago and never looking or coming back. none of what i am trying to do would have probably happened had i moved back here, and i am not a really regretful person, but the feeling is there. for anyone who has left their hometown and then returned years later everything seems so much smaller. i had come back here twice a year at least for the last 17 but i always seemed to go to the same places, parents house, one trip to beach, drive through old stompin grounds, back to parents. i realized that when my dad said i lost my history with katrina, he was very right. i am trying to reinvent or re-establish some of it and it is hard. we spend most of our youth trying to get older and get past our high school/childhood only to forget much of it. shame really. it is not like i had a hard life and wanted to forget anything, i just deemed the coast insignificant for long enough and now realize i was wrong and now i can’t relive any of the significance as it has been washed away.
tomorrow i will take a nice easy long swim in the lake behind my parents house.
in an odd turn i was searching the internet for a book called swimming to antarctica, and found an article on the woman who wrote it on cbs.com. i was kind of questioning today if i should do this thing. on the bottom of the page with the article on the woman (dated sept 17, 2003) was a link that said “It’s hard to tell the story: CBS Correspondents speak of Misery and helplessness.” I click on it and it is dated Sept 2nd 2005, it is a story about katrina and its impact on the coast. I AM NOT KIDDING YOU! here is the link:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/12/60II/main540357.shtml

talk about fate or karma or whatever.
32 miles
1 day
1 swimmer
it is on
happy thanksgiving to anyone who is reading this.

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