Swimming Is More Fun With Mojitos

By Jane

Do you like “signal” posts, as opposed to “noise?” Would you rather hear training theories, racing tactics and various other competitive swimming anecdotes? If so, you may want to join our impressive bounce rate and Back-button on out of here, because I’m about to talk about nothing of the sort. Maybe this could be considered a training theory, but don’t call me in a fit of rage when you don’t make your Olympic Trials cut. I would make a lousy coach; let me show you why.

I like to drink when I swim now. Thankfully, I don’t swim very often and (equally thankfully) I don’t usually get to drink whilst swimming, but I did this week at the SMX West conference in Santa Clara, California. My co-worker and I arrived in California (oh my God, it’s more than ten degrees above freezing!) and headed straight for the Santa Clara Hyatt’s pool. After a careful investigation, which involved me swimming a few lengths and making an educated guess, we deduced that the pool was twenty metres long. We were equipped with caps, goggles (yes, I wrote “googles” the first time. Shut up) and real swim suits. We were ready to “work out.”

You see, my co-worker will compete in a triathlon this summer. She is preparing for her first half-Ironman. She completed the Vancouver Marathon last summer. She isn’t as strong a swimmer as she is a runner yet, but she’s been swimming three or four times a week and didn’t want to halt her regime during the four days we were in California.

We started off well. She had five or ten minutes of warm-up to complete. I swam away on one side of the pool while she swam on the other. There were no lane ropes and no other swimmers. Right before we’d begun, however, three of our friends from the UK had turned up beside the pool (it’s a shame their colleague Tom Critchlow couldn’t have been there too, isn’t it, Tom? See your picture, Tom? The rest of you can pay no attention to this nonsense.) Soon after we started swimming, someone British suggested that we might like a drink to go with our training.

Tom Critchlow

My co-worker managed to complete her session, but I was well and truly distracted. I managed a few more lengths, including a 20-metre breaststroke as-fast-as-possible which was more impressive than you’d expect from a two-years’ retired, half-bottled search engine geek. With the Pac 10 Swimming Championships currently underway in Southern California, my “training session” reminded me both of how much I enjoyed my swimming career and how glad I am that it’s over.