Thursday, February 7, 2008

A snowy morning in February

I wake up anxious that I will be late for my morning swim with the Nepean Masters Swim Club. Since I'm practically blind without my contacts on, I press the light switch on my HRM and read 3h39. Phewph, I relax and let myself go back to sleep knowing that from now on I will sleep lightly and wake up frequently to check the time. 4h41 and then 5h11 marks the time to turn off the alarm clock. It goes off a minute later anyway, but Greg doesn't wake up. I lay in bed thinking that it's best not to get to the pool too early, because that means sitting around the pool, shivering and grumpy until the lifeguards are ready. At 5h21, I get up, sinking the mattress beneath me, causing Greg to stir, and then I promptly stumble into everything on the way to the bathroom : corner of bed, laundry hamper, bathroom door. Greg sighs. In the bathroom, the pep talk starts : As soon as you have your swimsuit on, you'll start to wake up! Just a few sips of Gatorade and you'll be in great shape! I strip and look at the scale for good news : yes, I haven't gained anything since yesterday. The rest of the morning's activities : warming up the car, getting water bottles, mixing in gatorade, finding clothes and sweatshirts somehow seems to involve many noisy trips into the dark bedroom, when Greg finally gives up and turns on the light to help me find my things. I tell him the pretty news : Snowstorm ! So we need to trade cars! He stares ahead for a few seconds, squints at me, pale and heavy with sleep. Then he agrees with a slight nod of his head as he stiffly gets out of bed. I leap down the stairs, stuff everything in my big black Adidas bag, wrap my pretty scarf on tight to keep the chilly flakes from tickling my neck, pick up my soft knit hat from the wet entryway , doubtfully push it over my hair, don my ski mitts, and slip my feet into the my big warm Kamiks. By now, the car is toasty warm and buried beneath several inches of airy light snow. The neighbourhood is so pretty in thick layers of white at this pitch black hour of the morning. I feel like a kid as I clear the car with the big red snowbrush. The snow flies into the air with every stroke, lingers for a second and then reluctantly floats down to the ground. This is a good omen : I am never grumpy at swim practice when I start my morning playing in the snow. The drive to the pool is not unlike riding a toboggan down a long shallow slope through mounds of fluffy snow. At every stop , I hold my breath in anticipation : will the tires slide or will they stick ? The snowplowers rush down Greenbank ,but it hardly shows since the snow is piling up so fast behind them. Finally, I slide my way into the parking lot. Snowflakes kiss my cheeks as I walk to the building. Today's swim is bound to be fantastic!

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