Pacific Masters Champs - More than Swimming
by, July 13th, 2009 at 10:50 AM (1098 Views)
It's Monday morning (July 13; 6:00am) after the meet and I am so happy to have come to the meet. It was great seeing the Rolling Hills Mud Sharks and Manatee Masters swim teams - as well as over 400 swimmers. What a grand celebration of life and friendship.
Coach Sharlene Van Boer and the Rolling Hills Mud Sharks adopted me and let me hang with them. What a great group of swimmers! A few years ago, I swam some relays with Shar's husband - Eric and team members Bill Adkinson and Lee Rider. We did fairly well and more importantly, we became lifelong friends. What more could you ask for from masters swimming?
I also got to touch base with the amazing Jim Clemmons and Rob Murk from the Manatees. Jim gets my award for the most famous mustache in Masters swimming.
I also got to know Cokie Lepinski a bit better after sitting with the Mud Sharks. Cokie has been a long time Mud Shark, but is now branching out to start her own team in San Rafael. I was particularly touched by the kindness and encouragement shown to her by Coach Shar and the other Mud Sharks. I know that Cokie will do well in her new career (having already retired once). She is a great person with a big heart.
Saturday evening, the Mud Shark team went to a fantastic brew pub in San Rafael. I had a good porter and a great salmon dinner. And there was live music on the plaza next to our outdoor table. It was cool, the skies were blue and everyone was so happy and rock'in to the music. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that evening.
Sunday evening, Bill Adkinson and his partner Diane S. hosted a BBQ at their home on the bay. They built a dock from the seawall to the estuary that leads to the ocean. Bill's daughter and her friend came over and they went kayaking. If I had had a bit more time, I would have gone out with Bill - but tempus fugit. We had a really nice evening and I helped them with their backyard improvements by wheelbarrowing two loads of gravel to their backyard. It more ceremonial than anything else. I really appreciated their hospitality and I am looking forward to hosting them when they make the big Southwest swing in the fall.
As for my swimming, I gave the 50 back record a scare, but did not swim as fast as I had hoped. I think I need to learn how to swim LCM more strategically. I died in the 100 and 200 backstroke races and had subpar swims.
But more importantly this swim meet was a symbolic victory over a broken heart. I barely survived Toronto - but at this meet, I was able to enjoy myself, cheer for and joke around with old friends - as well as making some new friends.
Masters swimming is much more than just racing - it's all about friendship, celebrating life and acting on positive life choices.
I'll see you in the water!