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Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm not Half the Man I Used to Be

Actually, I've never been a man.
Turns out, I'm not anywhere half the man that my Brian is, either. To be more specific, I'm actually 4% of the man that Brian is. And just barely 4%.

Allow me to explain. Instead of a dinner party on friday night, we decided to do some family time (may or may not be similar to doing hard time, depending on everyone's cycles) and take the offspring to the pool for some sliding, splashing, and bonding. The pool is familiar territory for Brian. He actually likes being in shape, and proves his point by getting up in the dead of the night three times a week, slipping into microscopic lycra, and swimming like a maniac. (He's probably being chased by crowds of women, but that's another post).

All this to preface the fact that at the pool, I am like a fish out of water. I hate being in a bathing suit. I hate shaving. I hate being wet. I hate being cold. I hate the bright lights. I hate the mirrors. I hate all the resolutions I make when I'm at the pool, and then later reevaluate over a pecan sundae.

Now Brian has told me more than once how he loves to swim. How fabulous he feels after his laps, how rewarding the hot tub feels. How he normally does NINETY SIX lengths, but this morning had decided to round it off to the nearest hundred. I had smiled supportively, admired his rock hard thighs, felt appreciative that he had some diversions besides my dashing and tantalyzing beauty.

But then, on friday night, I actually stood ankle deep in wet water. Water that my Brian had mastered. He had subjugated its coldness, its depth, and risen like a sleek, muscled god-of-the-deep-and-cold-and-wet.

I felt myself hypnotically staring at the lap pool. I felt words rise out of me, unsolicited, unwise.

"I bet I couldn't make it for two lengths. Do you dare me to try?
You're not allowed to laugh out loud. You must repress your laughter, you must not bend over and require CPR after watching my lardass haul itself, gasping and wheezing, across that pool."

And so I saw myself waddling on over to the ropes. I chose the lane nearest the edge, so I'd be easier for the lifeguard to rescue. Fearing the cold, fearing the wet, I resolutely threw myself at that aquatic intimidation.

I made four lengths. I thought my heart would spill out of my heaving chest. I thought "jello" would pursue my thighs for a part in their next ad. Four. F-o-u-r.

Not that I'm competitive or insecure or anything, but that makes 4% folks.
Yep, four out of one hundred makes 4%.

Someday, maybe I could aspire to being half the man that Brian is, but for now, I'll have to settle for .04.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last time I was at the pool I was only half the man Brian is. I think with a little help from Timmy's (40 Timbits with every meal), a baseball bat and a comfy chair with a locking seat belt we can beat him back a bit, though, Joyce, You with me?

lettuce said...

I'm just stopping myself trying to work out some maths here.....

so will you be going back?

I usually spend the winter planning to get back to swimming in the Spring.
:o)

Anonymous said...

wow, that is some serious swimming going on there!! i'm not sure i could even do 1 though joyce, you got me beat...

Anonymous said...

I started a stroke development class a few weeks ago (don't really know what I was thinking on that one). Anyhow, when my sister and I got there, the teacher said, "OK, let's warm up with a couple of lengths and then we'll begin class!" I almost laughed, but then realized how serious she was.

Joyce said...

Andrea- we could all ASPIRE to being half. That;s pretty impressive!

No. I will not be trying to beat my record. I will never love swimming, and I think Cinder said it all. You see what happens when you show up at the pool looking like you want to be there? They think that you can do some lengths- JUST FOR WARM-UP.

Anonymous said...

4% is a whole lot better than 0%. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

and you're probably 196% in some areas, as well. so i'm sure it all evens out in the end.

Anonymous said...

thanks. you made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Can I laugh out loud? Not at your ass...at your humor! Because I am.

LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!

You, my friend are funny. Fun-ny!

(PS: I didn't retrieve my dissertation data, but I did do a massive 30-page rewrite over the weekend! And, my paper is better for it. So, good things can come from Hell taking a crap on your noggin sometimes. But, just sometimes.)

Anonymous said...

Uh huh..and how many babies has Brian delivered?...
I thought so...now do the math.

Anonymous said...

does a wicked dog-paddle count : ) lindalew

Cherrypie said...

I know exactly how you felt. When I first went back to the gym I could do 1 length at a time, stopping at either end to avoid sinking in a breathless lump. 6 weeks later I am regularly doing 110 lengths without stopping. I don't think that makes me 110% more than Brian. The pool is only 18m long, but it's a great feeling. I can understand Brian's enthusiasm and I never thought I'd say that!