BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER, AND PARTY ON, DUDE
Quick recap. If you’re here, you've hopefully read Part I and Part II of the series, leaving you with both a revelation (that you’re a swimmer, and not a hack) and a plateau (you’re good! But you don’t think you’re excellent). So we sit on the plateau.
The view is nice here. Heck, I could sit here happily. From here, I swim well, certainly well enough that I would never dare say my swim hurts my chances at performing well in a race. There are many excellent triathletes that win regularly who sit on this plateau with us. Again, nice view. I’ll share a story while we bask in the view.
If you've never had the pleasure of a deep water start to a race, I’d recommend seeking one out. They’re unique, in that when the gun goes off, there’s some decent spacing between the athletes already, and the washing machine effect is somewhat mitigated, allowing everyone to slip into a more natural rhythm and have a better swim. At one particular deep water start I was in, we all fanned out across the ‘line’ (it’s all kind of imaginary in the water, and nobody can stop you if you cross the line early anyway, it’s on your honor), and awaited the horn. Jokes were made about the cold water and mysterious warm pockets, whether or not we lubed properly, etc. All was well in the triathlon universe. The horn sounds and off we go. Normally I’ll sight every 10 or so strokes, and dutifully did so at about that time. I came up to peek and saw several swimmers about 50 yards ahead. I’m not exaggerating to make the story better, this was shocking – we started swimming about 20 seconds earlier and they were FAR ahead of me. A glance to my left and right on the next sight assured me I wasn't towing an anchor – I was in the front of the middle, but these dudes were porpoises disguised in neoprene and swim caps. How the heck were they doing that?
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