The copycat

Let me begin this post with a story. A friend of mine who is a seasoned runner was lined up to begin a 10k. While standing there, just minding her own business, three girls who she had never met walked up to her and declared that they are going to pace off of her for the race. My friend didn’t know whether they picked her because they thought she looked like a good runner who knew what she was doing, or because they thought she was slow and would be easy to pace with. Near the end of the race two of the girls dropped back, but not before telling their friend “Don’t let her win.” My friend heard it and made sure they all ate her dust. Moral of the story is that it can be flattering when someone imitates you or it can be insulting.

I had a 2050 yard swim workout tonight and my first copycat. While swimming I started to notice that the guy in the next lane was doing similar things shortly after I started them. I chocked it up to coincidence (after all there are only so many drills you can do in the pool). But when I was checking the workout I had written down in a plastic bag between sets, he asked me about what I was doing, what I was training for, etc.

Soon after he declared, “I’m going to do whatever you do.”

And so it began. The poor bastard could not have known that there was a lot of kicking planned. So the workout Laura planned for me caused twice as much misery as usual. Actually after one lap of kicks on the board he asked what was next. “More of these” was his answer. He didn’t look happy.

Overall he did a decent job of following. Granted I was a lot faster and usually got done with a set in half his time, but he kept trying, cutting sets short and beginning the next thing whenever I did. And though I am no swim coach I tried to give a few tips here and there. The guy was full of compliments and it was apparent that he just wanted to test himself against someone who swam a little more often them him. I can respect that. I kind of like to do that myself.

If I had the chance to swim against Michael Phelps I totally would just to see how royally bad I’d get beaten. It’d be an honor. I’m guessing he could do several laps in the time I could do one. Plus I’d get to meet Michael Phelps. So win-win… or lose-win…however you want to say it.

So there we go. I have officially moved up from the bottom rung of the swimming ladder. I am now a slightly bigger fish in a small pond.

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