Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Endurance Dreams ...

Mornings here seem to be back on track! After rising, engaging in claw sharpening activities, and waiting patiently while the morning meal is prepared, The Boarder takes in enough nutrition to help with my conditioning program. In which I walk back and forth (zone 1), and work on flexibility bending down (and or over) and getting down on my knees stretching and reaching under furniture — all to find/pick up the ball we're playing with. And it's a good thing, because I flaked out yesterday in terms of "real exercise". I did, however, manage a laundry marathon.

The temperatures are bobbling around here — inside and out. Sunday night I walked into the pool building and my glasses fogged up. Once they were clear, I walked into the change room and they fogged up again. The locker room had been frigid earlier in the season — suddenly it was masquerading as a sauna! So much so that after my swim, as I put my clothes on, great beads of water were forming on my person, and although I had dried my hair, rivulets streamed down my face!

While I didn't get to the pool yesterday, I did do some Internet Surfing and Endurance Dreaming. An article on the Masters Swimming Canada web site by Mark Gallop describing his experience island hopping in Greece — swimming from island to island! It didn't take me long to scoot over to the Swim Trek site. And suddenly, the romantic in me was inspired — to swim the Hellespont of Leander, Alexander and Byron!! Maybe in 2010? To quote someone I know well, "We all need goals ..."

If, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)
To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont!

If, when the wintry tempest roared,
He sped to Hero, nothing loath,
And thus of old thy current poured,
Fair Venus! how I pity both!

For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I've done a feat today.

But since he crossed the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To woo -and -Lord knows what beside,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

'Twere hard to say who fared the best:
Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!
He lost his labour, I my jest;
For he was drowned, and I've the ague.

— Swimming the Hellespont, Lord Byron

Map credit: Macrohistory


Jenny Davidson said...

I am going to go to the library later & xerox you the pages where Byron (repeatedly!) boasts about that swim, they are very de-licious, he is absurdly vain and boastful but also endearingly excited about it! Really he is a much better letter-writer than he is a poet, it is a pity he did not write a novel (and burned his memoirs). Hmmm, it really would be an amazing thing to do, I think that you should be the ringleader of a group trip to swim the Hellespont...

This really IS ridiculous, but for some reason on my way back from the pool just now I was thinking of how in a fairy tale your fairy godmother would come along and tap the Boarder with her wand and he would swell to an enormous size (which it sounds like he is doing in any case!) and then as a sort of panther-like creature slip into the traces of a glass carriage in which you would glide along from place to place! Seriously, swimming is disruptive for the brain...

Wendy said...

Ooooh. Pages!!!

The Boarder is most panther-like, although we are endeavouring to keep swelling under control! Perhaps swimming is conducive to novel writing ... ideas come from the pool rather than a PO Box in Schenectady!

Brent Buckner said...

That's the first _Schenectady_ reference that I've read in many a long year!

AC said...

One of my USian fiends is swimming the Camino, carefully marking off her lap mileage on a map of Spain. She has managed Saint Jean Pied de Port to Estella so far, and has reported to me that the most difficult swim was the first few days, as crossing the Pyrenees freestyle is more difficult than one would generally think.

Anonymous said...

On a non-swimming-related note, there is a very strange scene at the end of Robinson Crusoe in which Friday dances with a bear in the Pyrenees, it is quite surreal...

I want to swim across the Pyrenees!


Joe said...

I had no idea that there was such a thing as a "swim vacation". I gotta get out more.

Wendy said...

I, too, would swim the Pyrenees!!

ShirleyPerly said...

My husband showed me that SwimTrek website not long ago, believe it or not. I thought it was a great idea but 5K seemed a bit too far for me. For you, however, it seems like the perfect vacation!

S. Baboo said...

What a great idea! I really didn't need the Swim Trek link to help feed my endurance addiction though...but now that I have it ;-)