|Bess contemplating her 200 IM|
My right and left index fingers got quite the workout. (You hit two timer buttons at the same time.)
I timed heats for over 10 hours combined on Friday and Sunday, watching people I knew and people I didn't enjoy swimming as fast as they could in a fast pool. I even started my long run at 6 am on Sunday to be at the pool by 8:30 am. Many people joked that I wasn't allowed to support my team while I was timing. My response: "my index finger has to be impartial, the rest of me does not."
|Two of my lane-mates after racing each other in the 1650|
One of our swimmers broke something like 4 masters national age group records, but he was swimming so fast I couldn't get a picture. But our coach Whitney was keeping close track of all TXLA domination.
Of course lots of people spent good parts of the weekend nervous, wet, and cold, but I had a great time! I got to be a cheer-leader, calmer-downer, lap counter (when someone scratched from my lane in the 6 heats of 1650s and 7 heats of 1000s), and general welcoming committee to Austin and Lane 3. Plus, since more than half of TXLA's 150 members were racing, I got to put lots of names with lots of faces, especially the ones who normally swim several lanes away from me.
Exhibit #1: TXLA take-over in the 1000. Six alone in the first heat, five of whom went under or barely over 12:00!
Exhibit #2: Theresa spent a good amount of time pacing around in the space behind my lane, psyching herself up. She was reconsidering her decision to check all those registration boxes back in March because she's not really about going fast.
But then she dove in and was so tickled with her time she came out giggling.
The most energetic events, by far, were the men's 50 yard free and butterfly. Tons of heats going off BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! and finishing like run-away freight trains. In the two or three fastest heats the water is whipped into a frenzy of froth and arms, and then the guys bring a tidal wave with them to the wall that crests over the 18 inches of tile onto your legs and feet. I was damp from the knees down for the rest of the day.
Eventually there was only one event to go: the post-meet BBQ.
We all kept commenting about how weird it was to see each other in real clothes with our hair did. All I know is that I finally got to sit down.