Today I had two more beers on the quest o’ beers. I had Hoppin’ Frog‘s Gulden Fraug Belgian Ale. Gulden Fraug wasn’t nearly as Belgian as Gulden Draak, but it was still tasty. And had a lot of alcohol. I wouldn’t mind trying their porter, but I don’t think the Heorot has it. In fact, they have been out of several of their good porters the past few times I have been there.
I also had a wheat ale, whose name I can’t spell. It was soft and sweet, like a new lover. Unsullied. Crisp. I was surprised because I usually abhor wheat beers. Every day is a new day.
The quality time spent with the Nathans and Stephanie was well worth not remembering the name of one of my new loves.
Last night I went to watch my brother coach. He continually amazes me with his compassion and sweet spirit. Where I am all abrasive and in your face, he is laid back and kind. I guess we compliment each other like that.
There were no diving catastrophes despite the few reverses that were attempted. They were all completed with room to spare. There were no Greg Louganis moments.
I stayed to watch the entire meet, and I remembered why I loved swimming in high school. I love that coaches and spectators alike yell at the meets. When you are under water, you can’t hear. Try it. I wish I could replicate the sound here. But I can’t.
Maybe try turning the stereo way up. Put your fingers in your ears, then take them out. Then put them in; then take them out. Do this over and over again for a minute and a half or so, and you will know what it sounds like to swim the hundred-yard butterfly or breaststroke.
Now leave the stereo on. Go into another room and cup your hands tightly around your ears. Wiggle your fingers around and listen to your skin rub against itself while still trying to listen to the music. This is swimming freestyle. You cannot hear the words. You only know that someone, somewhere is yelling for you.
And backstroke? You might as well buy some industrial strength ear plugs. Back strokers can only hear their own most secret inner thoughts.
Each time someone went off the block, I could feel my adrenaline rise. I wanted to be competing. I think the reason I was so well adjusted in high school was my focus on athletic competition. I wasn’t so interested in academic prowess, though I got the job done, because I was interested in pushing my body to its physical limits.
I need that again. I need to feel my body pushing through the slick water, propelling along by the power of my hands and feet. I want to be a human submarine, diving and cutting and slipping past the enemy.
In truth I am slow. This is me swimming:
I do not cut. I do not dive. I do not slip past the enemy.
I sort of bob along with my arms moving and my legs kicking. But it’s therapeutic and athletic. And not really so much like a pig in water.
Today I jogged/walked four miles. It took about an hour.
See? I am SLOW. But I did it. I finished. And that is where I am. On finishing.
I would like to finish anything: the mini-marathon, coursework, reading the Bible all the way through. Really, some sense of completion would be healthy.
I’d like to be done.