Well, I did it. I ventured in to my first masters swim meet and what a wondrous experience it was! The fact that it was at my alma mater, Ithaca College, made it even sweeter. The last time I swam in an IC pool was 30 short years ago, and needless to say, the old pool is no longer there. In its place is a brand new state of the art swimming facility, equipped with an Olympic size pool, swim tank & huge hot tub. Nostalgia hit me big time as I read the records of the IC Bombers on the wall. I might have been up there for a minute back in 1980. It warmed my heart to think back. And if I quiet my mind enough, and look far into the bleachers, I think I might have seen my Dad with his old 2 hand stopwatch, yelling out my split times. Oh the good old days.
The biggest difference I noticed with masters swimming compared to college swimming is it’s so much more FUN! All the pressure is off and it’s more about doing your best rather than having to beat the person next to you. Since you’re swimming alongside women and men of all different ages, shapes and sizes, according to your qualifying time, you don’t know where you’re going to place in your gender and age group, until the end. My end resulted in 2 firsts and a 2nd in my age group. Pretty sweet for a first meet. I very likely had the biggest smile on my face mixed with shock and wonderment while I stood at the scoreboard. Sometimes, it’s the little things that bring the biggest feelings.
I’m so grateful for my friend, Louise, who has been encouraging me to take the plunge for 2 years now, around the time she started with her masters swim team. She had expressed to me how much joy she felt swimming again, but it wasn’t until I felt the flow of practice, and excitement of the meet, mixed with the memories of what’s in my blood, that I really got it. And a huge added perk, she will be joining me next month at my next meet. My bestie high school friend, and swim team co-captain, swimming together once again. What could be better than that?! Perhaps a weekend at my cottage intermingled with hikes and savory dinners, pre-swim meet. Oh life is good.