How the Triathlete Stole Swim Practice

Posted Chris Articles, Newsletters

This is a modified reprint of a newsletter that I wrote last year. Enjoy:
How the Triathlete Stole Swim Practice

“How the Triathlete Stole Swim Practice”

Every Swimmer
Down in the pool
Liked swimming a lot
But the Triathlete
Who watched on the pool deck
DID NOT.
This triathlete hated these workouts! The whole swim focused off season!
Now please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his goggles weren’t screwed on quite right
It could be perhaps that his speedo was on too tight
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that he hated the flip turns off the wall.
But whatever the reason
His goggles or his speedo
He stood there on the pool deck, hating the swimmers,
Staring down from the lifeguard stand with a sour frown
At the barely heated pool below in the Y.
For he knew every swimmer in the pool beneath
Was busy now, getting ready for the workout.
“And they are getting their pull buoys” he snarled with a sneer
“It’s 5:25am! The workout is practically here!”
Then he growled with his fingers nervously drumming.
“I must find a way to keep the workout from coming!”

For in a few moments he knew…
All the swimmers down in the pool
Would dive in bright and early, They’d rush for the wall
And then! Oh, the Drills! Oh the drills, Drills, DRILLS!
That’s the one thing he hated! The DRILLS!
Then the Swimmers, young and old, would swim into the main set
and they’d swim, and they’d swim!
and they’d swim, Swim, SWIM
They would start with an IM Set, and then a set where the speed would increase
Which was something the Triathlete couldn’t stand in the least

And THEN
They’d do something he liked least of all
Every swimmer in the pool, the tall and the small,
Would swim close together, with lane dividers glinting
and they’d swim feet to feet, and they would start sprinting
They’d sprint and they’d sprint
And they’d sprint sprint sprint sprint
and the more the triathlete thought of the whole main set sprint
The more the Grinch thought “I must stop this whole stint!”
Why for several race seasons, I have put up with it now!
I must stop this workout from coming.
But how?”

Then he got an idea
An awful Idea
The triathlete
Got a wonderful, awful idea
“I know just what to do!” The triathlete laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick speedsuit and swim tote.
And he chuckled and clucked, “What a great Triathlete trick”
“With this suit and tote, I’ll look just like a swimmer and just as quick!”
“All I need is a kickboard…”
The Triathlete looked around.
But since kick boards are scarce there were none to be found.
Did that stop the triathlete?
No! The Triathlete simply said.
If I cannot find a kickboard, I’ll make one instead.”
Then the triathlete said, “Let’s go”

And he started down
Towards the pool where all the swimmers
were swimming and kicking around
All the lane lines were full. Chlorine filled the air
All the swimmers were all swimming with great care.
When he came to the first lane of the pool
“This is stop number one,” The triathlete hissed
And he climbed into the lane, paddles in his fist.
Then he swam down the lane. A rather tight pinch.
But if swimmers could do it, then it should be a synch
He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the water
Where the swimmers all put their gears
“Taking these pool toys” he grinned, “will end their careers”
And he slithered and slunk, with a smile most cruel
Around the whole pool, and he took every tool.
Pull buoys! And kick boards! Snorkels and fins!
Goggles, paddles and Garmins.

It was a quarter past dawn, all the swimmers still a-bed
All the swimmers still a snooze, as he packed up his sled
Packed it up with their tools! The bottles and bands
the belts and paddles for hands.
Thirty meters up! Up the side of the high dive
where no one could get to alive.
“pooh-pooh to the swimmers” he was grinch-ishly humming
“They are finding out now that no workout is coming!
“They just finished warming up! I know what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then all swimmers in the pool will all cry out Booo-Hoo
“That’s a noise” grinned the Triathlete.
“That I simply must hear!”

So he paused and the triathlete put a hand to his ear
And he did hear a sound rising up from below
It started in low then it started to grow
But that sound wasn’t sad
Why this sound was merry
It couldn’t be so!
But it was merry! Very!
He stared down at the pool
The triathlete popped his eyes
Then he shook.
What he saw was a shocking surprise
Every swimmer in the pool, the tall and the small,
Were sprinting! Without any pool toys at all!
He hadn’t stopped the workout from coming!

It came
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the triathlete, with his grinch-feet ice-cold as snow
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without pool toys! It came without fins!
“It came without swim bags, paddles, or Garmins!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe speed and proper swimming,” he thought, “doesn’t come from those tools.
“Maybe the speed…perhaps…comes from a love of pools!”
And what happened then…?
Well…in the YMCA they say
That the triathlete’s pace
dropped three seconds in his next race!
And that minute his speedo didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And who could forget
that he…
…HE HIMSELF…led the main set!