Tuesday, October 13


Here is Doug, who I have not seen since 1984 when we swam together with the Walnut Creek Aquabears. Can it really be that long ago? Doug's swimming career took him to Senior Nationals where he was a finalist in the individual medleys and back-stroke events - his strengths. He also swam for Cal and Nort Thorton's squad, which included Matt Biondi and John Mykannan, who won a silver in '84 with the worst stroke I or Doug ever saw. Mykannen twisted his full body sideways while his arm reached practically into the next lane before sweeping under. Plus he had baby-fat and paunch even in college. Yet Mykannen jammed in the distance events and was an incredible age-grouper in SoCal though he never did anything after the Olympics.

Doug also a stand-out cross-country runner and bicyclist, which he did semi-pro before assuming his career in technology. After meeting his 18-month son, who like him, has blonde hair and a winning smile, we head into the Santa Cruz mountains on bikes with the OP always in view for the perfect Norcal day. Why anywhere else? Beats me.

So Doug grew up in Walnut Creek and I recall vividly his house where we went after morning practice and ate doughnuts and watched MTV .. all day .. until afternoon practice. Repeat all summer. Unlike me, he was a natural swimmer and now comments that his skill "in the ankles," which unusual to me since I never considered my lower body other than a prop for my upper body. Doug's ankle flexibility allowed a powerful kick raising his body in the water enabling efficient forward movement. Me, I just churned in the distance lane hour upon hour upon hour. After gossiping about former team-mates and coaches and scandals and so forth we eat a burrito and then shortly I am on the 880 to Berkeley.