When I got to the gym all the swim lanes were full, so I threw on my workout clothes over my swimsuit, headed upstairs and resolved to walk/run for about 10 minutes, thinking that after family swim ended in 10 minutes there'd be a lane open.
I happily, well perhaps not "happily" but I turned up my ipod loud and got on a treadmill. The whole row of treadmills was vacant, as well as the row in front of it. After 3 minutes into my brisk walk, a guy gets on right next to me and it bothered me. There's a WHOLE ROW of treadmills; why does he have to be on the one right next to me? I turned up my pace a bit, faster than him, and after a mere 3 minutes he gets off. I cranked up my music louder and I have to say that the Black Eyed Peas is really fun to work out to. So much fun that I wanted to "match" the tempo and increased my pace to 13 minute miles from my 15 minute pace. I could only manage to do that for about 4 minutes before settling back down to a brisk walk. After 10 minutes passed my new goal was 20 minutes. Then it passed to and my goal changed to 30 minutes. Finally, over 40 minutes, 2.5 miles, over 10 laps and 240 calories later... I stepped off the machine. And I though I was going to fall down. Seriously! What a feeling!
I sauntered downstairs, clutching the railing and made my way to the locker room, got ready for swim and entered the pool, already breathing hard. I eased my body into the water and just started. The first lap felt good and my pace was .55 seconds but there was no way I could keep that up. My goal was 10 (20) laps and I did 16. (32..... nearly half a mile, I think)
.55, 1:11, 1:09, 1:06, 1:09, 1:08, 1:07, 1:12, 1:08, 1:08, 1:12, 1:13, 1:05, 1:12, 1:13, 1:15.
While I was in the pool, I realized that I tend to really notice and "compete" with those around me. (unless they are way better than me) There was an older woman in the first lane, swimming leisurely laps with a kickboard. Then a guy who I have no idea ho long he's be in the water, me in my lane, an empty lane until later on when a guy started swimming there, and the final lane was an older guy who I've seen plenty of times. Last time he was faster than me, but he usually has a pool aid between his legs for buoyancy, and supposedly that makes it a bit easier. Today I was faster than him, buoy or not. To the guy on the left of me, I was faster too and took less rests, and even the guy who just started, I was faster too. (but he was doing a variety of strokes: breast, back, etc.)
I always have a tendency to feel a bit proud when I am faster and swim longer, taking less breaks than those around me, but I'm beginning to see that I don't know the whole story. I don't know if the guy next to me has been swimming for the last hour and is not on mile 3 and exhausted because of it. I don't know if the other person was injured and is slowly getting into swimming. Or maybe they are working on technique. I don't know there story so it is impossible to compare, yet I still think there must be some universal measure. Fast is fast, slow is slow, right? 40 laps is 40 laps...... right?
One thing that bothers me a lot is when people talk about their "faith journey" and how individual it is. To me, right is right, wrong is wrong. I want to lump everyone into the same "pool" as me. But perhaps it is similar to my swim experience. Perhaps it is impossible to truly judge because I don't know where they've been I don't know their experiences. I don't know their difficulties.
It bugs me so much to even think that things are relative and I still don't, but I do wonder if perhaps we're all different. Held to the same standard, but because of our experiences and situation, it is rather unique for everyone.
Not sure. Just a thought.