The Competition

Today’s leg of my life’s odyssey is a swimming competition at my health club. It’s 9:15 AM as I write this. At 2:00 PM today, at the age of 75, I will be competing in the first swim meet of my life. Why do I care so much about this? How did I get here? The prevailing question at the moment is “Why bother with this at all?” I’ve always had a strong competitive spirit. It’s my nature. 

I’ve been swimming for exercise for over 10 years. I’ve trained myself using YouTube videos to the point where I’m satisfied with my progress, but dissatisfied that I’m not more competitive. I’m overweight. Some might say “fat”. I’m hauling 40 excess pounds with every lap I swim. Since early April I have been following a weight reduction regimen with significant results, but far short of where I need to be.  

I’m trying, at the moment, to put this venture into perspective. The world will little care nor long remember that Bob Krueger competed in his first swim meet on May 25th, 2021. It’s only important to me. My wife will not be there. She’s happy about my swimming from the standpoint that it gets me out of the house 6 days a week. I’m happy from that standpoint as well.

It is now 11:49 AM. Just jotting down more pre-competition thoughts. I am ready. Had my multi-vitamin drink, 2 keto bars, coffee, and 2/3 of a diet Pepsi for a little extra caffeine kick. I’m focused on what I need to do to turn in the best times possible in all 3 events. My focus must be on my mechanics. Don’t worry about anything else!

In a movie I watched recently, the All-Star major league pitcher was describing his mind set on every pitch he throws. He ignores the batter and thinks only about what he must do to deliver the right pitch exactly where he wants. It’s all about body mechanics and consistency. Forget the batter, the strike zone, the score, the crowd, the umpire, and anything else not directly related to body mechanics. I will focus on reaching out on every stroke. Pulling back hard on every stroke. Kicking continuously. Anticipate and execute each turn smoothly. Can I do that with my swimming? I will update and finish this article after the competition. 

The competition is over and I’m back home. All the worry about swimming technique was for naught. For my age bracket, I competed in 3 events and was awarded 2 Gold and 1 Silver metal.2 in the third (0ne Silver). As pictured below. Boiling it down —– I was given 3 medals because I’m old and I can still swim. It’s all about being there. 

In the movie “Being There”, Peter Sellers plays a below average intelligence guy with a limited vocabulary. Circumstances lead him to be taken in by wealthy and influential society. His lack of intelligence and limited vocabulary is mistaken for profundity and concise wit which leads him to become a candidate for President. The movie viewer knows, or thinks they know, that he’s just a dim-witted guy. The last scene in the movie has Sellers walking in a park on a path beside a lagoon. He makes a sharp left turn and proceeds to walk out on the surface of the lagoon.

Now it’s on to the North Carolina State-wide competition.

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