I love Friday mornings at the pool. This past Friday morning was no exception, except that it was a testament to the people who share the lanes. At 0430, there was a band of snow coming through Rochester that would have (and did) cause many to turn around. With visibility zero and roads yet untouched, getting to the pool was dicey. Two hours later you would never have known what had happened.
But there we were, on deck shortly after 5am. We don’t swim the same workout, but we swim together. It’s the “Good morning, how was YOUR drive?” said with a laugh that I appreciated so much. Or the groan over the snow from otherwise snow lovers. Or just sharing a lane with David who has swam here for 34 years (5 days a week). Those are the moments that I love.
As I have said before, outsiders think we are here for the physical effects of the swim bike run. We are to some degree. But it’s the moving meditation and the camaraderie that keeps us here for over twenty years (in my case).
Saturday morning I crewed for Luc as he ran Johnny’s Running of the Green, an iconic road race here in Rochester. These are the events where you get to just wrap your arms around people and connect, whether you are running or not. It was beautiful that so many people stopped Luc to thank him for inspiring them with his hard work and running. He needed that yesterday. This community has played such a big part in raising him, I personally thank you all for that. He feels at home in these events. The time and placings become secondary to what this is all about.
We all find our “tribe” somewhere. Mine was established many years ago and evolves through time. I look back on all of the experiences I have been able to have through the venue of this sport. I would change nothing. The good or the difficult. It’s brought people into my life that I can’t imagine living without.
Add into that the amazing technology that connects us further. Saturday’s when I am on my bike on Zwift for several hours I can virtually ride with people from all over the world. Through a simple text we check in on one another and help each other along. Connectiveness is a gift. And absolute gift.
#SuperG and I have “girls weekend” coming up at Texas 70.3. In our world it’s what friends do. We travel to races together. There I get to see some high school friends and some people in this sport I have not seen in far, far too long. It’s always so much more than just being about a race.
Every event this season surrounds that feeling of connectedness. Celebrating friendship and celebrating being part of this beautiful tribe.
Returning to competition hasn’t changed much in that regard, because I never left. I just stepped off the race course for a while.
But let me tell you that getting ready for this race and sharing the excitement over a new race kit, getting my wheels set, heck picking out my race goggles and sending THAT to the people in my life who GET that it’s not about goggles. It’s about being back. Being here. Being part of this amazingness (there’s a neologism for my nursing students!), I want to soak it all up and savor all of it. It’s awesome.
Friday mornings are my favorite morning to swim. You might find that feeling out at a bar on a Thursday night. I find it on the pool deck at 0500. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.