Sunday, August 9, 2009

Darn the rules

OK, so this isn't me swimming this weekend. But someday, I want to be part of a hardcore swimming scene this cool, so I did some vicarious versions:
1) Emily participated in a Kids' Triathlon on Saturday morning, completing a 50 m swim, 1.5 mile bike, and 0.5 mile run. Lots of fun race bling, including a pair of free Pirates tickets.
2) I swam laps at the pool this evening,
3) I looked up information on a sprint triathlon which was today, but registration was closed already,
4) I did open water swimming at Moraine State Park, from friends' dock to a little island nearby, and back.

Now, note the photo again - what are these swimmers wearing? Caps, goggles, numbers, and suits. NO LIFE PRESERVERS. Therefore I found it very rude when the park safety patrol interrupted my fantasies of triathlon training grandeur by telling me I had to stay within 15 feet of the dock and wear a life preserver. I'm 38, not easily mistaken for a minor, so that wasn't the issue. It is just the rule, for every single person on the lake.

I believe in seat belts and bike helmets for all, and even life jackets for kids - no matter how good of swimmers they are. But sometimes the whole lawsuit-crazy-culture thing really bugs me, because it stops me from doing something - fun? exciting? risky? stupid? who cares which? - all by myself, at my own risk.

It was one thing when, back in 1995, a park ranger chased Brian and I around the park to tell us we couldn't look down Taughannock Falls by laying on our stomachs on the rocks at the top. We were young and foolish then. Now, I'm older, and perhaps wiser, and my idea of a thrill is to put on goggles in lake water and swim freestyle, and even that, it turns out, is illegal.

Ah well. Emily, in contrast, got to break some rules. After her 50 meter swim, the race volunteers were encouraging her, cheering her, to run to the transition area to get her bike. On concrete. Right past the lifeguard chair, from which, on any other day, you'd hear a lifeguard blowing a whistle and shouting "NO RUNNING". She got to bike on streets, full speed, with sane adults telling her to go faster. She ran in shoes with no socks, without even putting shorts on over her bathing suit, and I didn't warn her about blisters or even about making her shoes stinky.

Triathletes have all the fun.


Swim Coach Finder said...

You can get that good. Just get someone that can give you some lessons, practice, practice, practice, and you will get there.

Ser said...

It is so awesome that Emily did a kids' triathalon. I want to do one! Until I'm fit to train, I'll live vicariously through you and your girls.

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