A new stroke emerges like a frog

There can’t be much that is more mortifying than having someone videotape you while you are attempting a sport that makes a fool out of you, which for me is just about all of them.

The latest humiliation is swimming.

It all started when I became jealous of a group of friends training for a triathlon and decided to copy them and do it too.

How hard could it be?  The targeted sprint included just a 250 yard swim, basically 10 laps in a regular pool.


Turns out, my swimming form is bad bad bad.  All of it. 

Strokes:  I flail and chop instead of reach and grab

Kicking:  Looks like a horizontal road race in the water

Breathing:  auxxhigotchollss (read: the sound of snorting water).

Thank goodness the water is only five feet deep and lifeguards maintain a careful poolside vigilance.

Thanks to my coach, the chugging and churning, gurgling and gasping, lurching and surging, have been committed to video for future viewing and potential blackmail.


The tapes are gruesome.

Furiously inching across the pool, I look like a tadpole just as it is sprouting its little arms and legs, wiggling them along to make sure they work. A tadpole in a little puddle in the middle of a pond that is about to dry up.

A dying tadpole. 


When triathlons list the strokes that are allowed in competition, they never include the dying tadpole stroke. 

Just my luck. That’s my best event.

So, two video tapes are out there, my arms and legs chopping away, as I churn and grind my way through the water.

Despite it all.  I did attempt a triathlon, and FINISHED  the darned thing, two minutes faster than I thought I would.

Tadpole swimming and all.


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