I went to the pool tonight at an a-typical time for me. I got in the water at 4:45pm and out at 5:30 on the dot because I had to get ready for a hair appointment at 6pm. I barely had scheduled enough time to do all of it, but I’ve gone there out of the pool before and he knows my tri life so it was no big deal.
The parking lot was about half full, more than normal when I go. Half the (already small) pool lanes were taken with lessons or a group of young kids around 12-14 on a team for practice. There was one lane left, just for me.
I’m going in knowing that I gotta’ turn it up because tomorrow is May 4th, exactly one month out from the Half Ironman swim in Raleigh. It’s coming at me fast & I need to swim as much as possible, probably 4 miles a week or more if I can make it happen. That’s quite a bit for me. So today, I’m on a schedule and I got things to do.
I swim for 45 minutes, which is just barely over a mile for me. Hit my watch, make sure it recorded it, hop out and walk towards my bag so I can rinse off, change clothes, and get to my haircut. Earlier I mentioned there were lots of kids in the pool, which also means that there’s a lot of parents and/or grandparents sitting around the sides as well which is not usually the case when I go. I walk towards my bag and a lady I do not know says…..
“…are you Chandra? Chandra Green?”
I’m like…..uh….yesssss….a little flustered here, but I ask….do I know you? -and here’s the rest of the conversation summarized:
“I can’t believe it’s you! I heard about you doing triathlons. I know who you are! I friended you on FB a while ago (but I ignored it-cg)…..and you have 2 boys, right?…and you recently did a big one somewhere, where was that? Florida, right?…and you ride your bike too! I’ve been following the stuff you do! I’ve been wanting to meet you and here you are!!”
I’m like, huh…?? I said something nice here, not even sure what I said.
She continues….. telling me that she joined the YMCA but their pool is closed for some cleaning or issues, which I had heard about. That’s the same place hosting the Ramblin’ Rose in June. Tells me about having 6 grandchildren and how she was watching me in the pool and couldn’t believe I could swim like that. She said she was counting my laps and lost track! Asked me how many I did! (my watch knows…) I told her about how a couple of years ago I couldn’t do a full lap without really struggling, and over time I’ve learned and been consistent and committed and now I’m doing bigger swim events with the HIM in one month!
This was one of the strangest feelings and experiences I’ve ever had. It was like I was owning triathlon celebrity for a few minutes. Is that a thing? Triathlon Celebrity? It was real for me for about 10 minutes today!
I couldn’t stay & talk too long because I really was headed to a hair appointment and I was going to go there wet now. But I did reach out to her on FB now that I know who she is!
But ya know…..you really don’t know who’s looking. You never know who is paying attention to what you do & say, how you handle yourself, how you tackle challenges, and what kind of example (good & bad) that you’re setting for someone else. It’s important to be authentic and be yourself, but it’s also important not to be a jackass. It was a good reminder and also a very unique feeling today. So thank you my new friend LW for such a great experience!