What to speak of today?
I swam 1/2 mile today – and already got to the next step of my new goal of a pool length (1/2 Olympic) without taking a breath, swimming with bare hands. I swam the length with my gloves this time, face down doing freestyle. After the halfway line, I was aching, wanted to give up.
And like Paul Atreides at the very beginning of Frank Herbert’s Dune, his hand in the Bene Geseret’s pain box, the test, feeling his hand surely burning to a crisp, feeling flesh melt and tendons snapping, wondering why the old witch was destroying his hand, the prick of the deadly poisonous gom jabbar on her finger at his throat – then realizing from somewhere in his keening mind that the ache could not be real, that this was indeed a test. That this was really a test of his concentration, not his threshold of pain.
And I let go. Let my chest and throat relax. Gave into the ache, the discomfort, as something that should be there, that rightfully was there. Just one more stroke. And one more stroke. One more. What, 10 feet now? 2 more strokes. I let go, let Victory take over. And I am there, my hand out, touches the wall. And I grab, and pull up. Break surface and breathe.
So next, swimming the length with my bare hands. I have very small hands; I enjoy the power of the wide hydrodynamically contoured paddles on them.
In bicycle news, I think I will pare down my New Year’s determination to bike a “century” this summer. I only realized when someone pointed it out to me, that that’s going to be like 10 solid hours of pedaling. The most I’ve ever ridden is about 32 miles. So maybe a half-century or a metric century (which I guess would be the phrase for 100 kilometers).