An albatross around one's neck...
by, March 17th, 2011 at 03:06 PM (11446 Views)
...has been defined thusly:
A burden which some unfortunate person has to carry.
As I head out to compete at this weekend's Albatross meet in the Greater Maryland area, could this unfortunate person be me?
The origin of the phrase apparently stems from the same magnificently melodramatic poem (Rime of the Ancient Mariner) referenced in my previous vlog entitled simply Albatross (link here for those who want to read and/or reread and or rereread and study: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=14471)
Specifically, the poet Coleridge (coiner, as well, of the phrases pipe dream, suspension of disbelief, and Achilles heal) wrote of our wearily Ancient and accursed Mariner:
Ah. well a-day. what evil looks
Had I from old and young
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
After Monday's miracle practice, in which I rose Lazarus-like from the sick couch to complete, albeit with drafting assistance, a grueling workout for an aging fellow, my own pipe dreams and capacity for suspension of disbelief in myself convinced me to enter the Albatross meet.
Alas, at last night's practice, the familiar malaise and effeteness thrust themselves upon me with renewed vengeance. Weak? Check! Shaky? Check! Hypoglycemic? Check! In no condition whatsoever to swim in a swimming meet, even one that did not first involve driving for a minimum of 5 hours? Check!
Still, a tiny voice inside me has always urged: Forward Ho, Jim!--its sound, if anything, growing louder in proportion to the hopelessness of my mission!
And thus, sickness be damned, I will soldier on to Bethesda and do my best to set the new 200 SCM freestyle Albatross meet record in the 55-59 age group. If I can accomplish this--impossible, I know, but if...--then I shall be forever known not just as a multiple Zonesman but as an Albatrossian, too!
And it will be the Albatross who must wear me round its pallid neck, not vice versa!
Or pipe dream?
Check back here frequently to find out!