In a World Where Everyone is Fantastic.
In a World Where Everyone is Connected, I don’t have a Facebook account. There is ample evidence that social media can be an echo chamber or shall we say a distortion of the reality. We are all familiar with the online heroes, those who are fantastic at everything.
In a World Where Everyone is Fantastic. I’m not. I am not fantastic at everything. I am not even fantastic at anything. I don’t think that even where I am good at anything, that I am exceptional.
In a World Where Everyone Is Fantastic, I’m a real-life, real, live, average swimmer.
Not for me the extraordinary claims. I’m just a guy, who writes a swimming blog.
In A World Where Everyone is Fantastic and Swimtastic, the average ones are the rebels.
I am really bad at life in general and bad at many things about swimming in specific. When I write, I write for the average me, and hope that by doing so, I write for some of you also. Some of you that I know, really are exceptional. Really genuinely exceptional. Exceptionally fast. Exceptionally skilled. Exceptionally smart and organised. Exceptionally tenacious. Exceptional filmmakers and photographers and writers. Exceptionally committed to helping new open water swimmers. Exceptional in swimming open water for 70 years. Exceptional swim organisers. Exceptional swim icons. Exceptionally butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke. Exceptionally Cork. I have a book of autographs of you exceptional people around the world.
In a World Where Everyone is Fantastic, you can be good at swimming, and yet be average or even bad at major elements of it. (The only school teacher I remember with any respect said I should never use the words good or bad).
In a World Where Everyone is Adaptable, I’m bad at breaststroke. I probably swim, on a good month, 1000 cumulative metres of breaststroke. Often less. Some months I never swim breaststroke and don’t miss it. But I feel guilty. I’m also poor at butterfly, but at least ‘fly is fun and you really want to be better at it.
In a World Where Everyone is Oxygenated, I’m really bad at breathing only on my weak side. I do it in case some day my life depends on it. I never get better.
In a World Where Everyone is Aquatic, I’m bad at underwater. I don’t even practice it. What’s the point? I swim a short course pool, and I swim open water.
In a World Where Everyone is Kicktastic, I’m terrible at kicking. I can’t even see the point as a long distance swimmer of ever getting better. I only do it when I feel I want to add another kilometre to a set, and I wear a snorkel to make it less hellish.
In a World Where Everyone is Speedy, I’ve never broken four kilometres in a hour by myself. I am really bad at starting hard in a race. I’ve lost count of the times when everyone seems to swim away from me at a race.
In a World Where Everyone is Thin and Looks Good In a Speedo, I’m bad at diet control. I’m only lucky that I prefer home-made food, but I still eat a lot of sugary foods, and only a lifetime of exercise is protecting me from obesity and Type 2 ‘beetus.
In a World Where Everyone is Chlorinated, I have no interest in competitive pool swimming. Everyone I know expects me as “the swimmer” to be the expert. Michael Phelps as swim god? Nah, Kevin Murphy for me. I really don’t care about the US National Age Group Short Course Championships. I really don’t care who’s going 21:50 for 50 LCM free. I also don’t care enough to check if those numbers make any sense.
In a World Where Everyone is Fabulous, I have no natural talent for swimming. I think my stroke is absolutely average despite years of technique work. And I now know it will probably never get much better.
In a World Where Everyone is Getting Younger, I’m getting older. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one who is. I get injured more easily, take longer to recover. I got a ‘flu vaccination but I was still out of the water for the last two weeks due to ‘flu anyway, then a chest infection, then bronchitis. For feck’s sake.
In a World Where Everyone is Rich, I can’t do most of the swims I’d like, because I can’t afford them.
In a World Where Everyone is Relaxed, I think I will die from stress. I don’t know how to not worry about stuff. The only solution I seem to be able to find is to go swimming. No matter how rough the sea is, at least I am safe there.
In A World Where Everyone swims for charity and saving lives and changing the world, I swim for myself.
In a World Where Everyone can swim an Ice Mile in one degree and sit around getting a tan afterwards, I think people will die and thought I might die myself.
In a World Where Everyone is a Double English Channel Swimmer, I only know how to swim one way.
In a world where everyone is motivational and Inspirational, I only know how to keep swimming.
Mostly, that’s enough.