Our Saturday 9:15 group has been training at our pool for months…but for what, really?
A “virtual” swim meet? Ugh! We are so weary of that term! Sure, it’s been an incentive to train, but now that the pandemic is pretty much over, we are all just done with all the “pretend stuff.”
We’ve seen commercials and email blasts for this virtual 5K, and that virtual party for a local charity. It’s been a great way to continue fundraising events and connect with others over cyberspace, and heck, even my Book Club tried it last year. There I sat in my home office – alone – with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, caught up with my friends, laughed and drank among my untouched paperwork. Nice, yet not enough. At least we continued our tradition of “hey, what was the name of that book were we supposed to read?” (Gulp)
A virtual swim meet is another situation entirely. Although you’re alone and your opponent is the clock, there is no shotgun start, no cheering, and absolutely no adrenaline rush when you hit the water and swim to the best of your ability. There are no white-clad officials telling you to get your fanny out of your lane quickly so they can start the next heat. It’s not much fun when there is no competitor in the next lane telling you “great swim” when you finish. As for your actual time, your Apple Watch or other similar device always seems to be “off.” When your race is done, there are no result sheets taped on the walls for you to view – while you’re still dripping wet. No, No, NO!!
Another drag about a virtual swim meet is that there’s no “apres–swim.” In our Masters Swimming Social World, the after-part of the meet is quite often the best part! It’s a special experience to rest and reflect over the day, and be thankful that we all healthy and strong enough to enjoy the common thread of competitive swimming….well…it’s kind of like that….
REALITY/CONFESSION: Apres-swim is re-hashing your events and times with your buddies and teammates, while hydrating a.k.a. tipping a few beers and eating whatever hot greasy food you think you truly deserve.
We are all hungry for a real swim meet after so, so many months of being starved for human contact, places to go, and events to look forward to.
Fortunately, a recent text message from my cousin provided some good news on the matter. The New York State Empire State Senior Games (yes, Senior) are taking place soon, and he thought since there are no Masters meets scheduled up here just yet, why not give it a whirl?
Cousin Mike and I had “big” plans to swim in some relays together at a few meets last year, which were sadly cancelled due to Covid. This New York State swim meet does not have relays, just individual events. No problem – I’m totally OK with that, and have rounded up a couple of my Saturday 9:15 group friends to swim. My cousin Mike is naturally “in” as well…and we agreed it will be a fantastic start to what we hope will be a real, back-to-normal competition swim experience, and not a virtual one!
Best of all – we plan to participate in “apres-swim” activities!!
Stay tuned for the post-race blog…