On Sunday - as mentioned in my previous blog post GALA - I went to my first swimming gala in around 18 years.
And it was so much fun. Hectic. Stressful. Full on. But ultimately a lot of fun, for me and hopefully for all of the 24 children who turned up from our club ready to race. And they did well, they did extremely well. Out of 8 teams we finished in a more than respectable 3rd place overall, with lots and lots of our children taking home bronze, silver and gold medals.
And there was even a little Brucie bonus for me. A sliver medal! Although I predominately went to the gala as a swimming teacher to help organise, look after and support the children that I teach, I also has the opportunity to take part in the men's race. Happy days!
My boss asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to take part and maybe normally I might of said something like: maybe, if you or nobody else wants to do it. But sod that haha. I said yes. Yes I definitely want to do it. Straight away, without any hesitation. Because I was really excited to have the chance to race for the first time since I was around 14 years of age (which is a seriously long time ago now). And not just that but race in front of the children that I teach too.
So I had a couple of weeks to prepare "properly" - I will be talking about my preparation in full in another post soon - and as you can probably imagine - if you know me - I was really keen to win. Unfortunately as my silver medal would indicate, unfortunately I didn't win; I finished in second place. Which wasn't too bad. And before you say anything, no there weren't only two people in the race haha. There was four. Me, the guy who won and two older dads, who although full play to them for taking part, weren't much in way of competition.
No instead it was a straight shoot out for victory between me and the younger, taller, slimmer and probably more handsome guy two lanes over. And the thing was that it was fairly close! The thing was that I was at least equally as fast as him during the actually swimming parts, but sadly I lost it on the start and turn. My dive in was pretty terrible and by the time he had surfaced from his start, I was already 5 metres behind. A distance I closed in the final few metres but the damage had been done. I really ought to practice my dives, but then I work and train in a pool that doesn't allow diving (it is only 1.2m deep).
But that's ok. Yes I wanted to win. But I went home with my silver medal feeling pretty pleased with myself. And more importantly! I enjoyed every second of the competing. Especially the children chanting my name - very loudly - before and possibly during the race (I don't know you can't hear much while you're in the water). It was also really awesome to hear all of the children and their parents telling me how fast I was and how good they thought my technique was after the race haha! As I have written before in my post 'You're perfect': we all like our egos massaged every now and again.
But t's ok because there is another gala in December and I want there to be no misunderstanding. Next time, I really, really want to win! Let the training commence haha.