More Strokes Ahead

After some mind games, I decided to push on. Perhaps it was mostly to save face, but whatever the reason for my sudden urge to perpetuate, it worked.

I pasted all the jelly fish and all the sea creatures that lived in the bottom -- the bottom I could make out clearly even at 15 feet.

The swim to the last turn buoy continued to challenge me.

Still I pushed on. At this point, I could feel the cramping starting to subside and then amazingly I started to find my stroke.

I was feeling good now and no longer had thoughts of giving up.

And then I could see the last yellow buoy before the turn back to shore. Big as life and not too far away. Certainly I could reach it.

By now, I was feeling comfortable, and even feeling good when I started passing swimmers. And then I started seeing pink caps. These were the female racers that started several minutes after my age group. They were upon me now and then I started feeling slow... too slow, comfortably slow to be racing in a triathlon.

And then the lovely burn in my arms and legs. My mind cries out, I had to drown it out.

" Persist, Insist, Resist," I yelled under my breath.

No surrender, I had to find my stroke.

And soon after several minutes of shutting my eyes (save for a few glimpses to ensure that I was going the right path) and closing my mind to the pain the strain, I found myself stroking the homestretch skimming the last .6 miles towards the final buoy.

By now, I could see shallow water, some parts of it seemed shallow enough for me to touch on a tip toe. I didn't know for sure, but it felt good to know that the bottom was there, just in case I needed it.

Then I hit something or someone hit me. It was an errant swimmer, swimming far off course, going diagonal until we collided: arm to leg, leg to arm.

It was good to know that someone was around me -- a good reference point to remind me that I wasn't far from home nor far from the reach of others.

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