[quote=terry;19061 I also get uplift just from the sense of shared experience I have with strangers. Before my first event, the 200 Fly, I was standing behind the blocks visualizing with pretty keen focus. My focus was broken when the prior heat finished and a guy in his 50s climbed wearily from the pool in my lane and said "Man, that was hard." But he said it with such a wide smile that I immediately felt happier and lighter. That was more valuable to my mental prep for the coming race than visualization of perfection. (Though I still believe in its value.)[/QUOTE]
Thank you everybody for your acknowledgments. They are appreciated. And also Terry for putting the post into a educational context.
The quote above speaks of Terry's experience before the race. I would like to share an experience after one of my races. First a little background. In Masters Swimming we swim times finals which just means one race. Unlike the open swimming where they will swim 3 races with the winner of the last race gets the Gold medal. When entering we submit our seed times. This is the time we expect to swim that race. This ensures that those swimming in the nearby lanes are in the same area of competence. Thus they can be of any age and sex. This is a good system as you are almost assuredly guaranteed a competitive race. The computer figures out the age group placings after.
Usual I have talked with the swimmers on both sides of my lane but in the 100 Free I did not see or notice the swimmer on my left in lane 8 until we were called to get on the blocks. I knew from the heat sheets we were very close in our seed times. We switched leeds several times in the race and I know she pushed/pulled me to my fastest time in 2 years. Now the neatest part. We are both
panting very heavily hanging on the wall and our eyes met and she broke out in a face splitting smile and mine did at the same time. She looked to be in rapture and I felt I was. The experience was magnified by the sharing. We said a quiet "nice race" and went on with our day.
Such are the joys of Masters Swim Meets.
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.