....for an incredible experience I had today.
Swimming was "written in the book" for training today and so I found myself doing a version of my 20/40 interval training in the pool.
Fully focussed and swimming hard, I got to the (place to put your towel and stuff) end of the pool,at the start of one of my intervals and waited for the clock.
I noticed a girl around 20, walk out of the ladies changeroom and head towards where I was waiting in the pool.
Carrying goggles and fins she staggered towards me in very uncoordinated fashion. She sat down at the end of the pool...well, fell down was more like it, and I thought, hmmm, little early to be hitting the sauce, this girl is going to drown.
Didn't pay much attention and three intervals later she is still there struggling to get her fins and goggles on.
I better keep an eye on her, I thought and carried on. Another two intervals and she was ready to fall into the pool.
It was my rest period and I quietly watched her from behind my tinted goggles.
I am so glad she couldn't see me turn red with embarrassment when it suddenly dawned on me that this girl had cerebal palsy.
Quiet sceptisicm gave way to absolute admiration and I realised that all the lanes were full and no one was about to let an uncordinated girl into the lane with them.
"Come" I said..."come swim in my lane with me". With a beautiful, if somewhat, lopsided smile she struggled to get out a "Thank you".
We discussed the swimming order...her up one side and me up the other and off she went happy as larry thrashing her way up the lane doing backstroke and back again doing freestyle.
Wow....this was absolutely incredible. The girl did not have a minder so can you imagine the amazing mind and self image it would have taken for her to be out there on her own, never mind with confidence in a public swimming pool.
We swam like that for a while and I stopped having completed my training. I waited for her so that I could tell her the lane was hers and doing backstroke she arrived at the end and instead of the elegant tumble turns I was employing she 'back stroked' right into the wall with her head. Ouch. She laughed as she saw me and I told her that I was done.
She stood up put out her hand and said My name is Sarah, what is yours. I told her and she asked me what I was doing for christmas..I told her and a bright smile lit up her face and her eyes sparkled as she gleefully told me she was going to Scotland for the christmas holidays.
We chatted for a while and I got out of the pool thinking...there are some very lucky people on that flight tonight who are going to have their lives enriched by young Sarah. We wished each other Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year with two high fives...her first one missed and I went on my way.
What an incredible young woman, and the next time one of us feels like the world owes us something let us remember young Sarah, who with all that she has, realises that SHE is the one in control of HER life.
Today my life was made richer by two Sarah's actually, the one I met today and the Saraaaaaaah, for whom I have the greatest respect in England, who undoubtedly will have some enlightening things to say in her post today.
Another example of getting my clients into strange positions