View Full Version : Swimming Poetry

jim thornton
September 4th, 2002, 09:26 PM
I recently had a 50th surprise birthday party here in my hometown of Sewickley, Pa, a couple weeks after long course nationals in Cleveland. One of my Sewickley YMCA teammates, Jim Buskirk, a paint chemist by trade, took the opportunity to write a poem about my increasingly geriatric swimmer's progress, which he read outloud at the festitivities.

I think his poem captures the Masters spirit, at least in regards to guys like me, who use every iota of mathematical conversion formulae, suit technology analysis, and so forth, to try to prove to ourselves that a recent swim was, in point of fact, the best of our lives!

Anyhow, I hope like-minded individuals might spy a wee bit of themselves in here, and find the poem as enjoyable as I did:


Meters to yards, it all makes a difference

Jim is world champion if using the proper inference

Just 10% more water in meters to yards,

Adjusting a swim time is really not hard

The effect of the swim suit is commonly known

To many who live in Jim's hometown

The lack of perfect texture is slowing him here

About a half second per hundred, or near

The air in Cleveland is not as dense,

And this slows him down by several tenths

With oxygen content below normal strength,

In Sewickley he would gain a least a body length

The polluted water in Cleveland has higher viscosity,

So for sure in Sewickley he would have higher velocity.

While the 200 meter is not yet down to 1:53,

There are a few more charts we might want to see.

But regardless of how many charts we might need,

Jim [please feel free to substitue your own name here]

is always our champion at any speed.

September 5th, 2002, 04:14 PM
There once was a guy named Jim,
Who went to the Y to swim.
But meter to yard conversion
Became a lifelong perversion,
So geriatric confusion consumed him.


jim thornton
September 5th, 2002, 04:29 PM

Actually, more so even than the meters to yards conversion do I find solace in the Finnish formula for age-adjusted conversion. See the oft-cited


There is one particular teammate of mine, a tall whipper snapper with a perfect swimmer's physique, and a good decade younger than me, who I feel ridiculously competitive with. On the numerous occasions when he has beaten me--almost always in 25s and 50s (though he is creeping quickly towards victory in the 100s), I invariably cite the Finnish formula to show him why, times aside, I have trounced him.

This fellow, Pete Test, also does not yet wear a body suit when swimming, so he has tried to say he would be killing me on a level playing field. That is why I continue to search out all evidence I can find that BODY SUITS DON'T WORK--in fact, they probably SLOW GUYS LIKE ME DOWN. This, of course, while never considering swimming a meet without one...

Anyhow, thanks for your poesy! Geriatric confusion is a subtle thing. I'm not even always aware of just how confused I have become. Now the trick is to confuse myself into thinking I beat Jim McConica at Nationals. (Yeah, I did in the warm up pool...)

September 5th, 2002, 08:17 PM
I forgot if I was writing about you or me.

I think I have forgotten this before....:confused: