Many many years ago when the US Olympic Swim Team was training for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, I went to a few of their practices like a little dorky groupie. I cheered, whistled hooted and hollered. I may have even followed a few of the male team members out to the bus and asked for autographs. One particular male swimmer remains in my memory - Hans Dersch - ahh, Hans. Hope you are well.
While this was not the proudest moment in my life, I have moved on. Now, rather than chasing the athletes like an awkward puppy, I can kick their butts in the pool.
OK, slight exaggeration I will admit. I doubt I can kick the anything off of any past Olympian, but I feel like I can which is the real victory here.
I have reached a point in the water again, after many years, where I feel at home. As my arms work in union and my legs kick to the steady beat in my head, I feel strong, proud, almost good. Well, I feel good and am no longer embarrassed to say I used to swim. I can say, with some pride, that I still do swim.
We can swim a few thousand, have a cocktail of ice water on the rocks, and I promise I won't ask for your autographs. We can just enjoy the cold clean water and the way it makes you feel as you push off the wall. We can kick, paddle and breathe in mutual silence, enjoying our favorite sport together.