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Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)

NMSC Dec/03 Newsletter

All the World's a Pool

By Mike Sandoz (with apologies and thanks to William Shakespeare)

All the world's a POOL,
And all the men and women merely SWIMMERS;
They have their RACE DIVES and their FliP TURNS;
And one swimmer in his/her time swims many RACES,
The races having seven stages. At first the WARM-UP,
Slipping and sliding through the placid water;
Then the StrETCHING of limbs, and the strutting
And psyching out of friend and foe alike
Amid supporting shouts. And then the TAKING
OF MARKS, in silence, with a steady balance,
Avoiding the topple and fall. Then the HORN START,
A sudden sharp sound, the body spring released,
Stretched to the limit, striving for speed and length,
Seeking a glorious recognition
Even as it starts to tire. And then the RACE SWIM,
With smooth strong pulls and short sharp kicks,
And powerful rotating body core,
Retaining stroke efficiency and style
As all the race evolves. The sixth stage is,
Of course, the FINISH, tensions fully raised,
With spectators stood up and coach on side;
The last pool length, too long, but something saved
For one more effort; the wall firmly touched;
Arriving spent with all muscles ached and strained
And lungs all void of air. Last scene of all,
That ends this masochistic performance,
Is WARM-DOWN, pure collapse and true oblivion;
Sans breath, sans strength, sans soul, sans everything.

[Based on and inspired by William Shakespeare's "As You Like It", Act II, Scene VII, Jaques, "All the world's a stage..." (the seven ages of man)].


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