Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Race is On!

   Tonight, in number 6 of my 8 swim lessons, I was challenged to a race. And not by my trainer. When I arrived to meet Delissa, suited up and ready to go, she was talking with a group of fellow gym employees taking a break for some drinks. And one non-employee, a tall, lanky guy with a huge smile. He shook my hand and asked me if I wanted to race. He looked like he invented swagger, which made the challenge irresistible.
   "When?"
   "How long is your lesson?"
   "30 minutes."
   "I'll come in at the end to race you."
   "How dumb do I look?! I'll be TIRED then!"
   He winked. "Exactly. I'm not a great swimmer. I'm a basketball player. You think you can take me?"
   "You're on." I was sure he was joking... Until he arrived halfway through my lesson.
   "You ready?"
   Delissa beat me to the punch. "Oh, she's ready. Let's GO!"
   Well, shoot... I guess I had to be ready! He was standing now, and I could see that he was around 6'2" tall. He clearly worked out a lot and was covered in tattoos, and so reminded me of Tyga from the show in SF. He jumped in the lane with me, still wearing his basketball shorts rather than swim trunks, no goggles.
   "What's your name?" I asked.
   "Reggie," he said, extending his hand again.
   "I'm Jen."
   He shook my hand firmly. "Let's do this, Jen."
   Delissa counted down and we were off! I dolphin-kicked underwater for as long as possible, since it's a strong and fast stroke (and one that I've practiced frequently for the breaststroke). When I came up my arms were churning and my legs kicking as fast as I could move them. I caught glimpses of Reggie next to me but tried to focus on getting down the pool as fast as possible. I tried to focus on breathing. On being a fish! It didn't work.
   I beat my best time so far, and hit the wall just a couple of seconds after Reggie. He was happy to have won... And I turned to see a chorus of four young women from before, who had come in to watch.
   "Come on, 2 out of 3," I said. "That was a warmup!"
   He declined, but asked when I'd be back for a rematch. "I have a lesson Saturday morning, and Monday night," I said.
   He said he'd be partying Friday and sleeping late on Saturday. He invited me to join. I demurred. (Seriously, I'd be surprised if he were a day over 27. Still, quite flattering.)
   "Monday." We agreed. That means I have a lot of training to do in the next 4 days!!!