In the Pool: Wet dreams | AspenTimes.com

In the Pool: Wet dreams

Tim Dudley

I had this reoccurring dream when I was a child that involved a great white shark, a small pond, a birthday party, a garden hose and a box of Crayola crayons.It had been my only reoccurring dream until the past year. Coincidentally (or not), both involve swimming.Each childhood dream would start out as I’d arrive at some kid’s birthday party, where everyone was having a good time in a back yard and splashing around in this little pond. I’d jump in and resurface, only to find all the kids had evacuated. Somehow I’d be the only one who missed the fact that there was a monstrous great white lurking underneath. The first dream ended there.The next dream would pick up from there, and I would be swimming frantically for a box of crayons, one of those big ones with the crayon sharpener and colors like atomic tangerine and screamin’ green. I’d reach the box and wake up.In the final installment, when I’d reach the crayons, I’d pop out on shore. For some reason I knew just what to do – run around to the side of the house, grab the garden hose, and spray the shark, which obviously killed it.I don’t know what that all means, although sharks have freaked me out for a long time and I was somewhat fond of crayons when I was younger.Now flash forward about 20 years. In this new dream, I’m in a swim meet – no shark, but I’m flying through the water like one. All my friends who were swimmers in high school are there and thoroughly impressed. I’m super fast, which I’m not in real life; I’m throwing down perfect flip turns, which I can’t really do; and I’m breathing like I’ve got a snorkel on, which I wish I could use.I get out of the water and bask in the glory and admiration of friends and strangers. It’s a good dream.I know why I have that one. It’s simple: I’m no good at swimming, and I really wish I were. I love to do it – nothing makes you feel better – and it’s part of doing triathlons, which I also love. But I’m really slow and it’s kind of embarrassing. I’m usually one of the last ones out of the water in any race.Today at a triathlon in Vail, I expect it to be the same. Me and the old and overweight stumbling and gasping out of the water together like swamp things to an empty transition area.Or maybe the semi-hard work I’ve been putting in the pool will pay off. Yeah, in my dreams.

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