Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Phew. Maui Wowie... I just spent the last two days working on Maui. I used to travel all the time for work (pre-family and pre-responsibility, lol) and enjoyed the heck out of it. It's been a while since I've had a chance to do something like this, so while I know it was hard for Scott to be a single dad for a day/night, secretly, I kind of enjoyed my little time away. Shhhhh.

It was a good trip and I was pleased with how successful I was on the work front. A couple of my best sales days for sure and well worth it to go over there.

Anyway, of course (like a good little triathlete) I did a bit of research before I went to find pool times and contact numbers for masters swim coaches, etc. Midday Thursday I placed a call to a guy who was listed as a masters coach there to get the scoop on swimming opportunities for last night and this morning. Our conversation started with something like this:

Me:  "Hi Malcom, My name is Michelle Simmons..."

Coach: "Oh hi, Michelle Simmons. You're from Kaneohe. I know your name."

Me: "What??"

I'm not actually that famous. Turns out this coach is also the USMS Coordinator or whatever for the state of Hawaii and just that morning he had been asked by the race director of the Double Roughwater Swim to confirm my USMS membership for 2010 to make sure I was eligible for the swim race next month. And apparently he has a good memory.

Anyway, he told me about a masters workout he was coaching last night upcountry. I was game for that so I told him I'd see him there.

Can I just tell you that it's COOOOOLD upcountry Maui at night! I was not planning on staying up there when I packed so I did not bring a sweatshirt or coat or anything warm at all. The pool was only up at about 1500 ft, but there was a gorgeous view as the sun went down over the ocean. That made up for the frigid temperatures (sort of), but it did not make up for the lack of oxygen I felt as I was doing flip turn after flip turn in this 25yd pool. I haven't swam in a scy pool in quite some time... it was just flip flip flip flip... I thought of Kerrie and others who live and train at altitude. No wonder Kerrie hates swimming. You can't breathe when you swim above sea level. My lungs were just completely burning... very different than sea level swimming. And I know I know. 1500ft is NOT that high. But it was still a problem.

Anyway, it was funny for me to swim with a new masters coach who did not know me. The main set was 900 yards. I was like, "Can I do that twice?" Ha! Part of the main set was 2 x 200's neg split. Malcom asked me, "Do you know what negative split means?" Again... ha! I was good though and just politely said, yes, I know what negative split means. He was really nice though and gave me some good stroke correction which I appreciated. Same stuff I've heard before, but he said it in a different way and took a little video on his iphone so I could see and it was quite helpful. He knew what he was talking about.

Toward the end of the workout he asked me who I swam with here on Oahu. When I told him that Brett Phillips was one of my training partners, he totally cracked up and told me that he grew up swimming with Brett. Small world. Such a crazy small world. Seems like everybody knows Brett. Of course then I posted on Brett's FB wall that I just swam with Malcom and Brett responded by telling me that Malcom was one of his favorite people. Nice.

Malcom also put me in touch with another big Maui swimmer who trains in the ocean all the time. I called her and we planned a 3.2 mile one way ocean swim for this morning. I was completely stoked to do this swim! What a great way to start my Friday!! Unfortunately it dumped rain all night last night so she cancelled at 5:45 this morning, saying that the run off from the rain would make the water all murky. Since the place we were gonna swim was known to be kinda sharky (Malcom told me about a 12 ft tiger they saw 2 weeks ago- it swam right under them!) she said it wasn't such a good idea to swim after rain like that. Bummer. But I made up for it by showing up at another pool that was open at 6:30AM and did my planned Friday workout by myself.

After I was done swimming this morning, the lifeguard approached me and we started chatting... I told him that I had been planning to swim with Janet in the ocean but we skipped it b/c of the rain... then he told me that Janet was one of his swimming partners and then went on to tell me about the 12 foot tiger they saw 2 weeks ago! I was like, "I know! Malcom told me about it last night!" Guess it's kind of a cool story after the fact. And given that it all turned out okay, I kinda wish I would have been there, because I love cool stories like that. Anyway, I just thought it was funny what a small world it is and how swimmers just know swimmers and there's this amazing common bond we have when you can just call up someone you don't even know and immediately be connected into the swimming hub of the island. Living in a small community where everybody knows everybody has its advantages for sure.

7 comments:

Beth said...

Very small world! The running community here in Pittsburgh is like that too. Everyone knows everyone else through somebody... :) Sounds like a great place to swim though!!

MaineSport said...

From Maine to Hawaii- not much sympathy here. Cold in Maui? There's frost on the ground, and the outdoor pools were drained three months ago. There are, however, no sharks to deal with, even in the summer when the water temp gets to a high of 62 degrees.

Mary IronMatron said...

I love reading about your swimming adventures out there...
Too bad about the Maui OW swim,though.
I would FREAK out if I saw a shark...

Running and living said...

So, you are a little famous over there, how cool! I think trips away from the family rock, except I start missing my boys after a couple of days!

Lizzie said...

Ok - you know it's coming .. .. eeeeeek! Shark!!! :) That is a cool story though and kind of nice in that it (the shark) didn't bother them. Glad you were able to fit in some training while you were away. I swam two 25 minute sessions in one day this week. No idea how you maintain your level of swimming! It's hard work - amazing!

Katie A. said...

I'm always amazed by all your swims, I want to be like Mamma Simmons when I grow up ;) But that would require learning a differnt stroke besides the doggy paddle! LOL!
Holy cow - a tiger shark! Glad you didn't have to deal with that!

kerrie said...

i'm glad you understand what my swimming problem is now. it really sucks. i won't even get into how it feels like my lungs are bleeding every time i go for a run....