Monday, August 2, 2010

The Power of Ian

Last week there was an exchange of emails amongst our small swimming group. I had to bail on the Tuesday morning swim because I was had something to take care of that morning. Wynn was bailing because he and Teresa needed another rest day. I copied Ian on the emails so he would know we weren't coming. I didn't know he was out of town. Imagine my surprise when I get this response from him later that  day:
"I go away and the swimming just goes to hell"

Oh no, we've set off a time bomb of chaos that would later blow up in our faces. Wynn has always referred to Ian as the "keeper of the lake." Ian is 'the man' when it comes to open water swimming. Heck, he's the man when it comes to any type of swimming. We all try to channel our 'inner Ian' when it comes to swimming. But the man is a fish.

Wynn, Teresa and I swam on Thursday without Ian. He was still out of town. We talked about making up the missing swim and decided on a Friday evening swim. Teresa politely backed out of it and quickly made friends with the 'locals' that were having a BBQ at the beach. When Wynn and I entered the water, they came over to ask her where we were going. She told them where and they translated it into spanish for the rest of their families. They would keep coming over to her for updates on our status. They were getting concerned when it looked like we were taking too long. 

Wynn and I made it back to shore safely and were happy we made up that swim. I even emailed Ian telling him what we did and that we wanted to redeem ourselves to him and beg for forgiveness. To which he replied:

"Glad to hear you guys made up for the missing swim but I hope that you swam extra 
distance to make up for the fact that an early morning swim is 1.2 times more
effective training than an afternoon swim because of the law of specificity."

I wrote back to Wynn that we screwed up and had to go back and swim some more. Ian would not be happy. And clearly he could not have been happy. His body and the eco-balance of the lake are finely tuned to each other. One disruption in his mood can set off a chain of events at the lake. I woke up Saturday morning and saw this headline:

Wildwood Lake in Northampton has been closed to swimming due to high bacteria
levels in the water, the Suffolk County Health Department announced today.

The health department did not provide additional information about the cause of
the closure, or how long swimming would be banned there.

Oh no. We swam in the lake just a few hours earlier. This was a sign that Ian was not happy with us. We scrambled over the weekend to figure out a backup plan that doesn't include jellyfish. We had nothing. Then the good news this morning. Ian saw the new posting that the lake is open again. He is on his way home Monday night and will be ready to swim Tuesday morning. Amazing, isn't it? Let that be a lesson to all of us, don't miss a swim. If you do, you mess up the whole lake when Ian gets mad.

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