Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A poem about swimming...

It all started in January when I needed a new goal 
I was a bit lost, feeling out of control 
I decided I wanted a challenge that was unfamiliar 
Because something that was easy just wouldn’t be fair.   

I jumped in to the pool on the very first day 
I swam 25 metres and flailed my arms the whole way 
I’m surprised the pool had water left when I was done 
I swallowed so much of it. Man, that wasn’t fun.   

I walked away from the pool that day and told my sweetie that I HATED swimming 
I was convinced that this was an activity that I would never be winning 
I hummed and hawed – do I continue because I can grow and expand? 
Or do I quit because life’s too short to spend it doing things you can’t stand?   

I made a choice. I was going to see it through. 
A part of my heart felt it would never come true 
Me – being able to swim for a full 1500 metres? 
In open water none the less. Jeepers Kreepers.   

I showed up each day, put on my goggles and cap 
Some days felt awesome while other felt like crap 
I asked for advice, took lessons and listened 
Focused on my stroke as my speedo glistened.   

Months and months passed by and I could finally breathe
Through the side of my mouth, oh what a relief! 
My stroke became smoother and my arse felt less heavy 
Was I actually getting the hang of this? Time for a bevvy??   

I stood on the start line at Wasa Twenty Thirteen 
Feeling scared to death, but proud as a Mexican jumping bean 
I had struggled and questioned, loathed and hated 
Now I stood in a wet suit, heart pounding as I waited   

The gun went off and the crowd rushed in to the water 
I let them go like a patient little otter. 
I didn’t want to get a boot in the face 
I wanted to survive, that was my goal for this race   

Stroke, Stroke, Stoke, Breathe 
Stroke, Stroke, Breathe 
Stroke, Breathe 
Stroke, Stroke, Stroke, Breathe 

Slow and steady, I began to make ground 
Under the water, you could barely hear a sound 
All I could hear was the voice in my head 
And it was saying, “6 months ago, you thought you’d be dead.”   

But here I was, swim swim swimming away 
I wasn’t dying, in fact I was pretty okay 
At 850 meters into the race I did a heart check and a smile came rushing across my face   

I thought back to that cold day in January when I thought about giving up 
And here I was, in my first triathlon race, raising the roof and sayin’ “What’s up?!” 
I became immersed in the moment and cheeky with pride. 
This was me, swimming along, and enjoying the ride.   

As I came closer to the beach, marking the end of the swim and time for transition 
A part of me was sad because I kind of liked being in this position 
I had committed and conquered and nothing feels better 
Well, maybe at Christmas when your grandma gives you a sweater ;)   

The moral of the story goes something like this: 
Anything is possible if at first you don’t dismiss 
As Jim Cuddy sings, “You’ve got to Try. Try. Try. Try.” 
Be open minded. Allow time before you ask Why?   

Enlist the help of others and give it your best shot. 
Show up each day and give it everything you’ve got. 
Learning something new is awkward as heck. 
You’re a fool if you believe you won’t be a wreck.   

But attitude and approach are simply a choice: 
Be open to learning and listen to the good voice.


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1 comment:

Braden Keith said...

Hey Kyle,

My name is Braden Keith, and I'm the managing editor of a swimming website. I loved your poem, would you mind emailing me??