2 Million Strokes

March 1, 1999

Two million - plus

I walked out of my office this morning and sat down at the desk across from my assistant. Two million I said.

She looked puzzled. "Two Million what?"

"Strokes," I said. In the Y swimming pool.

"Did anyone ever tell you have a tendency to over analyze?"

"Well, on Thursday during my last swim I decided to count strokes. 25 per 25-meter length was the norm. Hey, I have been swimming there almost every workday for the past 7 years. So I figure, 50 laps a day, 46 weeks a year, 7 years = 2,000,000 strokes."

"All by yourself you figured that out? How relevant!"

The long and short of it is - I suffer stupidity poorly. And for me - a swimming pool is to swim in. Some years I did 250 miles a year. Once, distance racing with a local newspaper writer we did 100 miles in 12 weeks. Finished on the same day and he wrote about us in his daily column.

But in order to swim, you need a pool with a lane. And steadily over the past several years the powers that be decided that floaters and walkers and shallow water jumpers took precedence. Tuesday, they wanted 5 of us to share one lane, and 9 of them to share 5 lanes. 9 floaters in the deep end - with their blue vests on so they can tread water.

So - I finally had my last "discussion" with the staff. Seems the 3 lifeguards on duty saw no merit in taking out then next to last lane. But the new super wench 20 something flexing her authority head lifeguard said, "the schedule says ONE lane, so ONE lane it is. "

I packed it in.

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. This was kinda ingrained for me. Besides it was across the street from the office.

Two miles up the road is a private club. When I was filling out my check at the counter on Friday morning one of the staff came up and said, "Hey, I know that name." She had been my son's basketball coach at the Y. Seems that one of their best lifeguards had quit the week before because of run-ins with the wench.

Oh well… I took my $750 per year membership up the street. I hope they like their lane for that price.

Best part comes on Monday morning. I had to be dropped off at the office because my car is being worked on.

Spouse drives by and says, "Hey there is your new home."

I say "Yep." Then she says, " you know who goes there don't you?"

"No, Do tell?"

"All those rich babes who have nothing to do but work on their bodies all day long."

"Really?" (Eyebrows raised)

As of today I do know that the weights work the same, and today, when I picked one of six empty lanes, the water felt the same.

Another thousand strokes.

20 more days to go.

(Spouse was right though, It might not take 21 days to make this a habit.)