My Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings start with my alarm going off at 5:41am. I set it a little earlier than necessary as I know for certain that I will hit the larger button at least twice before I get up. I dress, walk over to the door, open the garage door via the remote button, start the vehicle via another remote button, and have my morning think as I sit and wait for the van to warm up.
I drive the 24 minutes to the pool in a nearby town as my town has yet to develop its aquatic centre. I think it is in the five year plan...along with the seniors housing, hockey arena, curling club, fitness centre with raquetball courts and a lap pool fitted with a waterslide and hot tub...all in the same mega complex. I can't wait for that to open it's doors.
I arrive at the pool at approximately 6:30 when the doors open. As I change, Christian praise music is blaring in the shower room...I think they are trying to convert me. "Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above..." I obey the clearly marked signs to shower before entering the pool and make my way down the cold hallway, past the hot tub, to the lap pool. I jump in my favourite lane and spit in my goggles to defog the lenses before I begin.
The first five lengths are fast and I breathe only two or three times per length. After I start to tire ever so slightly, I lock into my well practiced form...smooth, steady, 25 seconds per length, breathing every third stroke. I begin to process the day. I've got 45 minutes to plan, without paper and pen, without students clamouring at my feet, without phones ringing and begging me to respond. My pace quickens after about 20 minutes as I begin to feel the rush of, what I decide is, my second wind. I pass the people in the lanes next to me more quickly and more frequently. I feel good that my endurance is up. The chill I had when I entered that cold hallway past the hot tub has been gone now for some time. A quick glance at my Ironman at lap's end tells me I am done.
I enter the hot tub for a five minute cool down, and retire to the shower. Another man enters from the lanes, starts the water, and says, in a smooth voice, "It certainly is a pleasure watching you swim." "Thanks" I say, not exactly sure what to think, we both being like Adam in the group shower, and me all thoroughly lathered up. I think to myself, "I wonder if this facility has a suggestion box?"