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Friday, December 11, 2009

A must read

This made me laugh out loud. Well, well done. Mike Gustafson has written so many excellent articles, I encourage you all look some up!

Happy Holidays,


By Mike Gustafson // Senior Analyst

Cold water in December makes it hard to enjoy Christmas Cheer. Instead of warm, toasty naps next to a comforting fire, swimmers enjoy warm & toasty puke sessions between training-trip test sets. Instead of Holiday serenades regarding candy canes and family fun and sparkly lights, swimmers are serenaded with, “My 90-year-old Gramma swims faster than that. And she’s dead.”

Every winter, we cold-climate swimming-unfortunates trudge through snow piles and black ice patches, purchase galleons of after-practice face moisturizer, and pretend like we’re not in-the-closet Albinos. Our girlfriends leave us – citing shaved legs, Raccoon eyes and pasty skin – and our friends abandon us (citing the same). Our parents never see us. Our siblings question our existence. And once school ends, the warm and inviting Parka becomes our only happy thought.

All else is horror.

“Evolutionarily speaking, human beings were not meant to spend seven hours in cold water during winter months,” I remember telling coaches. “I think we should get out – if only to preserve our species.” This worked as well as complaining about lower back pain or a nearby distracting buzzing fly that prevented me from hearing interval and/or intensity percentages. Which is to say, I’d swim the rest of the practice butterfly. With a parachute. Reverse circle-swim. To complete the Swim Gods’ December Punishment, my ride’s car would break down, burst into flames, and leave us stranded in a blizzard.

Needless to say, I have fond memories of December training. To help fellow cold-climate swimmers (some of this applies to warm-climate swimmers, too) I have provided the following Five Stages of Winter Swim Blues.


Denial: The water isn’t as cold as yesterday!

Anger: If I violently spin my arms as fast as I can, it won’t be as cold as yesterday!

Bargaining: Maybe the jets are pumping warm water. I’ll go check.

Depression: If I lay motionless, maybe I’ll get out of practice.

Acceptance: It’s just as cold.


Denial: He’s going to give us an easy practice! He’s happy!

Anger: He’s happier when we’re sadder. Another hard practice today. He’s a masochist. I hate him.

Bargaining: What if I go a best time off the blocks? Right now? Best time ever? Can we get out?

Depression: If I lay motionless, he won’t be happy anymore.

Acceptance: He’s just naturally happy. The jerk.

30 x 1000's FREESTYLE

Denial: Ha! What a joker! Such a sense of humor my coach has!

Anger: (Expletive.)

Bargaining: Please, someone, please, let there be a blizzard, an earthquake, a UFO (unidentified floating object). Anything. Please.

Depression: What’s wrong with me? Why did I choose this sport?

Acceptance: Vendt did it.


Denial: Toughness comes with sacrifice. This will make me better.

Anger: Seriously? Christmas morning? Is there any justice in the world? Aren’t there laws against this? Is this a felony?

Bargaining: $500. I’ll pay you. Let me go home.

Depression: “How was your Christmas?” “I threw up. How was yours?”

Acceptance: I’ll just TP my coach’s house tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Peter, I had to send this to my senior age group kids. Very funny, to me at least!