From the sublime to the ridiculous . . . and back again
by, December 8th, 2013 at 08:23 PM (2104 Views)
This morning I enjoyed a glorious cold swim at Brighton Beach. The day was not that promising—clouded over and grey, breezy, with drizzle threatening—and did I mention cold? Thirty-degree air and 44-degree water definitely met Evmo’s combined-100-and-under criterion for cold swims. Getting ready on the beach was a challenge—earplugs were cold going in, caps were cold, fingers got chilled with all the preparation. But once I was in and stroking—no dawdling today!—the sensation of being surrounded by water felt simply magnificent. I swam to the big jetty to the west and back (a bit over 1k) with Cristian, Melissa, and Brad. I was tempted to go further, but was nervous about rewarming in the cold, so got back out when we got back to our starting point.
After dressing on the beach I elected to go rewarm in the car. Generally I like warming from the inside out, relying on jogging or exercising on the beach post-swim to make enough body heat to get my temp back up to normal. That usually works well, but with the wind and temp today and with my feet painfully cold I worried it would prove challenging to keep from losing heat faster than I could generate it. I was lucky to have swimmates willing to share their car heaters with me, so I opted for that method. I shivered for a bit, and had to take off some of the clothes I had put on so that the warm air could reach me, but eventually I warmed back up. A massage afterwards rubbed away some of the shivering tightness, and I basked in the warmth of the subway car on the ride home, grateful for another wonderful morning spent with the ocean and my ocean-loving friends.
That was the sublime. This afternoon was the ridiculous. There was a fun meet scheduled at Asphalt Green that I had contemplated swimming, but I ultimately decided against it, in part because my LMSC has devolved to such disarray this year, and I didn’t want to spend time among people who were sure to want to talk to me about the situation. (If I were gung ho about my pool swimming I wouldn’t have let that stop me, but as someone on the fence about competing the infighting is tempering my enthusiasm for participating in masters events in my area.) As it turned out, though, there was a members-wide vote on new bylaws scheduled to take place during the meet, and two of the groups I swim with were urging their members to come out and vote. So in the end I felt obliged to stop by the anyway.
When I arrived at Asphalt Green, there was a group of people outside arguing—some were handing out leaflets, others were trying to stop them, and our LMSC chair was ordering confused newcomers to go inside. I stopped and took a leaflet from a friend urging me to vote no, then was scarcely inside the door before another swimmer friend stopped me and told me to vote yes. When I got the ballot, I discovered that in addition to the bylaws, the membership was also being asked to vote on minutes from the last two meetings, because there has been too much contentiousness among the board to even get minutes approved. (I was not completely surprised by this, as I had been to part of the general membership meeting, and was appalled at how uncivil and ugly it was—I left halfway through). Before I left Asphalt Green today I heard from several people that the police had been called to stop swimmers from handing out fliers—I’m not sure if that was true, but in any case I imagine that the NYPD has more pressing matters to attend to than Masters swimming infighting. Ugh—I have no stomach for conflict, and wish that I could simply switch from Metro to a less dysfunctional LMSC. If anyone is reading this whose LMSC works well consider yourself fortunate, and consider thanking your board members (or give yourself a pat on the back if you are one).
This situation has definitely made me grateful for the groups I swim with that do run efficiently and where people tend to get along and appreciate each other. So to end on a happier note I will write about the Team New York workout I attended yesterday. We have occasional “ladies only” workouts to bring the women from the team together from our various workout locales. Yesterday’s was also one of two free holiday workouts the team is giving their members, and it was held at John Jay and coached by David. It was nice to reunite with teammates I hadn’t seen in a while, and I enjoyed having Hannah and Elisabeth as lanemates for the following:
600 scy warmup, various
200 (50 scull + 150 FR) @ 4:00, odds w/buoy, evens w/out
4 x 50 (k/d) @ 1:05, IM order by round
250 (100 FR moderate + 50 K fast + 100 IM moderate) @ 4:15
3 x 50, desc. @ :55 (1st round FR, 2nd round BK) [30, 34 on fasts]
4 x 25 @ :40, odds ez, evens dps
4 x 75 FR with no-wall turns [on these, my lane took turns leading on the first three, then synchro-swam the last one three abreast—fun!]
And our coach brought us cookies for after!