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Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)

NMSC Feb/98 Newsletter

...Because I Swam Last Night

Letter from the editor

Since starting to swim with the NMSC three-ish years ago, I have found that I have begun justifying what I do, eat and drink with the fact that I swim. I have asked several of the guys in B Group as well and it seems that everyone has some form or other of the same rationale. It works somewhat like a bank account. Everytime I swim, I'm putting the equivalent of a whole lot of excuses to do stuff that one wouldn't normally do if one weren't swimming on a regular basis. The excuses range from being able to eat practically anything, to having an extra beer, to being lazy and taking the escalator at Bayshore, you know the routine. After a while, the effects of the swim are countermanded by the effects of all the excuses and then I have to swim again to top up the excuse 'account'..........Sound familiar?

A few weeks ago I was in my office at work, buried in some onerous task, when a colleague popped his head in my door.

"Team building today?" he asked.

'Team building', for those of you who are wondering is one of those '90's management catch phrases for 'post staff down sizing morale enhancement because the peons aren't happy anymore.' In real terms, team building, is time away from the office where everyone plays fun, but silly games and tells each other how wonderful they are and how much they enjoy working with each other and for the boss!

In my office, team building has taken on a different but more practical meaning. Basically it's break time when the guys head over to the cafeteria to have coffee and whatever else that goes with coffee. Team building wouldn't be team building without the talk about last night's hockey game and how the Ducks reeeeallly need to trade Kariya to the Senators for future considerations or how neither the Raptors nor the Leafs really know how to play hockey (or basketball! for that matter) etc, etc, etc.

So I there I was swamped in this tedium, really needing a break, but thinking that I really didn't need a donut, but thinking that it was really OK .......because I swam last night....

So I heard myself say "OK", while thinking to myself, "Now just one donut and only the 2% milk in the coffee (Yech!)." In the cafeteria, everything looked rather good .....before I could stop myself I had picked out two of the gooiest looking chocolate iced donuts, (it's OK because....I swam last night) and poured my coffee, adding real cream (still working on last night's swim). We ranted about how the Senators might be a good soccer team while some of the other guys ate the 'big' breakfast (four sausage, three eggs, home fries, and toast - all for $2.99 - who can blame them!?).

We came back from team building in time for a meeting on the third floor. Somebody pushed the elevator button and I started thinking, "Stairs or elevator? Stairs or elevator? ...Elevator. Yeah its OK because I swam last night."

At the meeting, there were donuts and muffins on a side table which soon disappeared.....but it was OK because I swam last night!

Later in the day my manager poked his head in on the way to his office," Hey, don't forget about lunch today." Now lunch out is usually some food and much beer. "I'll be there," I said, thinking to myself, 'It's OK because I swam last night.' Lunch was at a nearby sports bar where the food is slow and the beer plentiful. It was OK though, because if I reached deep enough, I could still find some reserve excuses left somewhere in the account!

That night, I got home and dinner was a sumptuous affair complete with warm apple pie a la mode. My mind immediately went back to the stuff I'd had through out the day, conveniently forgot lunch, and the staff meeting. "Sure, I'll have some pie, but just a little ice cream." I said.

Well by now the old guilt bells had started to ring, unfortunately about 24 hours too early! Oh, this was a bad day!!!...but......it was OK because tomorrow I'd be swimming again. What! I was dumb struck! Never before had I used that line! Using credit in the excuse account! I could just feel inches being added to my waist, but that was OK, tomorrow is another day and I'll just watch what I do then! Yeah right!

Alex Golob B-)

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