Saturday, February 14, 2004

Against the Tide, Pt 2

I'm here to tell you that walking as fast as you can in waist-high water for almost a mile is a helluva lot harder than it looks. (They said the course would be 2/3 of a mile, but we went end to end.) I thought it would be a piece of cake, because I've been walking for years. What really shocked me is that the boyfriend took OFF. To be expected, I guess, because he has naturally long strides. It wasn't until I was about 2/3 of the way that it dawned on me I was taking a lot of small steps and needed to lengthen my stride. Then it became a bit easier, but by then I was getting pretty tired. Not exhausted kind of tired, more like, "Whose idea was this anyway? Oh yeah...mine."

So the gap between the boyfriend and me grew and grew. He finished at least 1/4 of a mile ahead of me and was one of the first finishers in the walking category. I felt fiercely proud of him, not because of his fast finish but because a year ago he would have never done an event like this. For the first 40-1/2 years of his life he had a terrifying fear of the water (even to be in waist- or chest-high water). He finally conquered that fear last July by teaching himself to snorkel. It might seem like a tiny accomplishment to a lot of people, but it was huge for him. So I was back there with my tired-ass legs silently cheering him on. I don't know where I finished--maybe 6th or 7th among the walkers. You could walk/wade or swim or snorkel.

As we came out of the water, there were volunteers to greet us and drape medals around our necks. It was a bit like the Special Olympics--everyone got a medal. It was sweet. Boyfriend commented that he was one of only three "brothers" participating, and he knew one of the other two. The third was a visitor staying with a resident; he finished right ahead of me and we chatted a bit. So that means ONE West Indian man participated. That's shameful when you consider that we live on an island with a predominantly black population...and how many "sisters" have lost their lives to breast cancer. It was only the second year of the event--hopefully it'll continue to grow.

We rubber-legged our way to the snack bar and ordered breakfast and then headed to our sand chairs that we'd parked before the event in their usual spots. We lounged a bit, took a short dip and then headed home so boyfriend could play in his usual Saturday golf game. How the hell he's gonna play 18 holes of golf with those tight legs is beyond me. Me, I'm in for the afternoon. I've had a good soak in the tub, started the laundry and I'm ready to crawl back in bed and read. I began Hillary Clinton's "Living History" this week (a gift from the boyfriend for my birthday last month). That oughta put me sleep! :) It's a bit dry so far, rather like reading a textbook. Maybe it'll get more fun once she meets Bill.


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