Brad Feld

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Learning to Swim (again)

Jun 16, 2004

I’m gearing up for my next marathon on my goal of running 50 (one in each state) by the time I’m 50 (I’ve done 4). I’ve decided on the Deseret Morning News Marathon in Salt Lake City on July 24th. While it’ll be a hot day at altitude, the course starts at 7500 ft. and drops to 4500 ft., so with the exception of two stretches (each two miles), it’s – as they say – “all downhill”.

As part of my training, I’ve begun swimming at least twice a week for an hour. I grew up in Dallas and spent the summers at the neighborhood pool, so I thought I knew how to swim. After a couple of hard one hour swims, I realize that I suck at swimming. I get through the water fine, but the 60 year old grandmother swimming in the lane next to me is faster at the freestyle and seems remarkably less winded than I do.

I asked my friend JB for a swimming lesson – JB is a good swimmer and his son is an up and coming champion (according to the proud dad). We met at the Golden Community Center this morning. JB spent an hour with me, teaching me how to swim like a real person (vs. someone who learned in the mid 1970’s and never thought about it again).

As I was driving home, I pondered how much there is to learn. I am a real novice at so many things and it’s a blast to go up the proverbial learning curve. There’s nothing like sore muscles and getting passed in the pool by a six year old to give one (ok – me) humility. I know it’s cliche-ish – but this experience made me smile today.