Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)NMSC Mar/01 Newsletter
Swimming Without Floaties
... or My First Swim Meet
I am a rookie Master swimmer - a Minor Master would be an appropriate title (minor has no age association in this context). I joined NMSC in September mostly for the fitness aspect and general desire to participate in something other than my children's hockey. Compete no I just want to swim for the enjoyment and exercise besides I am a morning swimmer, so I probably have missed more sessions than I have attended.
In January the Winterlude talk started. "Come on Cathy you should join in, it is a really good experience and it is just a fun meet, no one takes it too seriously".
Oh, but I thought what if my goggles fell off, or I fell off the starting block or the worst - I might be just too tired to make it to the end of the pool!!
Well thank goodness for all those Master Master's who are more than willing to share their stories of losing goggles or about bathing suits falling off. They made me laugh with delight at their misfortunes and made me realize that no one is there to judge you. Winterlude is a place where people with a common interest can go and compete with others or improve on their best personal times. The fact that we were being served pizza afterwards and getting together with team mates for a cold beer or two may have also swayed my interest. I decided to participate.
So here's what this Minor Master learned at her first swim meet:
- If you don't have a time sign up with No Time (NT). That way with your name in print with NT beside it the rest of the swimmers will know you're a rookie and it takes some of the pressure off.
- Be emotionally and psychologically prepared to see your age printed everywhere and that it may numerically suggest that you are a year older than you really are..o.k. six months makes a big difference for some of us!!
- Those people (officials I believe) will not help you climb onto the starting block - you must do that unassisted even though your legs are shaking so badly that your knees are knocking together.
- Yes your arms and legs will automatically start moving once you are in the water. You will not forget how to swim, those morning or evening swims do pay off!
- Of course everyone does need to experience a "what if" - in my case I learned that if someone says something about you and DQ- that does not mean you have won an ice cream treat for participating it means you may have been disqualified from one of your events. But even that wasn't too bad because I got a few sympathizing pats on the back and was told I had to buy the first round of beer.
- The most important thing that I learned at Winterlude is that everyone, even the fastest Master Masters are there to enjoy themselves, test themselves and they are encouraging and supportive to those of us rookie Minor Masters.
A word of advice to any swimmer - Minor or Master - even if you don't want to participate, going to a meet is a wonderful opportunity to watch some amazingly good swimmers from our Nepean Master Swim Club compete!
Cathy Tierney - D group