Sunday, May 24


Madeleine and I at the club. I show off my new freestyle technique to Mary and Sonnet while at the pool. I've changed from high turn-over to a longer, more powerful sculling with an aim to stretch at the top, move into a vertical and less drag position then grab deep water. Somewhere in there my kick has moved from a distinct two-beat cross-over to more efficient six or seven flutter. The punchline: 20 stokes per 25 yards to 11. I ask Sonnet to time a 100 yards and am disappointed by my 1:04. Given how I feel in the pool, I was thinking somewhere around 55 seconds or at least under a minute. Afterwards, I strike up a conversation with Bill who observes my effort - we geek on swimming and triathlons and he is doing a half Iron Man in August. Bill is also a swimming coach and appreciates all the stuff I describe; he says that his kids "always want to churn over 25 strokes a lap" and "very hard to teach them to go for the longer stroke." This old dog takes it as complement. Bill's daughter a competitive swimmer recruited in New England but has decided to join the Air Force. On any day, and especially Memorial Day week-end, it is appropriate to extend my heart-felt congratulations.