Home | Away

Sectionals blogging!

Sometimes I wonder why I feel so world-weary, and then I remember: it’s because of stuff like the past few days.

Saturday afternoon, after revisiting my old school, I headed to Penn Station to catch my train back to Harrisburg.  I had about 45 minutes to make a half-hour trip by subway, but decided to take a cab so as to give myself a little extra time, maybe buy a sandwich for dinner on the train, etc.  That was a bad idea.  The cab ride was like one of my anxiety dreams in which ... well, in which I’m stuck in a cab in bizarre, inexplicable traffic that forces us onto narrower and narrower streets.  In these dreams, I inevitably have to get out of the cab and run through a series of houses with narrower and narrower hallways until I reach the back stairs and the closet that goes into ... never mind, the point is that the cab snaked and lurched toward Penn Station in such a way as to lead me to believe, even at 5:12, that I just might make my 5:17 train.  Then we hit the last and fatal snag on 8th Avenue, and I knew it was hopeless.

So I got back at 12:30 am instead of 10:30 pm, which mattered, because on Sunday I had to get up at 6:30 for ...

Special Olympics Sectionals!

Yes, that’s right, it’s that time of year again.  Surely you remember last year’s post, in which this humble blog ventured into the world of posting-videos-of-Jamie-swimming for the very first time.  Here we are a year later: Jamie is a year older, and I am a year tireder.  And so I admit that it made me a bit weary when I realized that we’d gotten up at 6:30 Sunday morning to drive down to St. Francis University in time for the opening ceremonies at 9 ... and then we sat in a hallway until Jamie’s first heat, at ten minutes to noon.  Sigh.

Last year, he won gold in the 25m freestyle with a time of 34 seconds, after posting a qualifying time of 38 seconds; this year, his qualifying time was 30.6, putting him in a more competitive heat. In which he proceeded to be more competitive:

Before the race, I told him to be careful not to start before the horn, and I asked him if he thought he could break the 30-second mark.  Well, his new personal best is a smokin’ 28.17, as you’ve just witnessed.  But if you did indeed witness it, you saw that he actually started a bit tentatively.  Perhaps if I hadn’t cautioned him about a false start, he’d have broken the 28-second barrier.  Because he’s really extending his arms nicely in places.

And here’s the post-race interview:

That, folks, is the Voice of Enthusiasm.

And this is the 50m freestyle.  Last year’s qualifying time, 1:32; last year’s gold-medal-winning time, 1:16.  How did Jamie do this year?  Here’s how:

The race was even closer than I thought.  Jamie finished two seconds behind the winner, who somehow caught the young woman who’d led for the first 49.9m:

The lesson here was obvious: though Jamie did not win, he was brave in the attempt.  More specifically, I told him it didn’t matter whether he got gold or bronze; what matters is that he swam fifty meters in 1:16 last year, and he swam fifty meters in 1:06 this year.  Totally awesome.

And now for the backstroke, and a truly crazy finish for second:

The young man in the lane closest to me won by two seconds, but the people in lanes 2-4 were separated by less than .7 of a second.  Jamie kept looking over to see if he was gaining on them, and although that surely motivated him to keep churning, I think it distracted him a little too.  No worries, though—he swam three great races, turning in personal bests in the first two.  And getting tuned up for the statewide Olympics in June! 

I’m a little extra-extra weary today.  The 6:30 am - 4 pm drill on Sunday left me unable to play more than one hockey game on Sunday night (I did a lot of standing around and passing in a B game, skipped my A game), and then yesterday, Jamie’s session of Special Olympics golf, 5:30-7 pm, left me bone-chilled and sleepy from standing in the wind in 45-degree temps for 90 minutes, huddling and shivering even though I was wearing my dang Penn State fleece.  So I decided not to play pickup last night, either.  That leaves me with only one remaining A game, tomorrow night, before the rink shuts down for six weeks.  Tonight, Jamie and I will be going to this show.  His idea.  Well, why not?  I just taught my last class of the semester, and I’m ... uh ... ready for a nap.

But congratulations to Jamie!  Citius, altius, fortius, year after year!

_________

In other sports news, the guard did not change.  If you wanna get through the years, then, I guess it’s not high time you played your card after all. 

Posted by on 04/28 at 01:02 PM
  1. "I had about 45 minutes to make a half-hour trip by subway, but decided to take a cab so as to give myself a little extra time, maybe buy a sandwich for dinner on the train, etc.  That was a bad idea.”

    This is a sign that you have been away too long.  Any NYC-area person can tell you that the West Side subway, if accessible, is always quicker.

    But at least you got to see everything, film everything, enjoy everything, and document everything. Which is worth an hour or two of sleep and a Lesson Learned for next time.

    Posted by Ken Houghton  on  04/28  at  02:58 PM
  2. But I wasn’t on the West Side, see.  Regis is on the East Side, and by 4 pm I was in Park Slope, where I’d left my overnight bag at my friend Mark’s place.  The 2 and 3 trains weren’t running to Brooklyn, thanks to weekend repairs, and though they were replaced by the 4 and 5, they were skipping the three stations closest to me.  That left me with the option of waiting for a weekend Q from 7th Avenue and Flatbush and walking from 34th and 6th to Penn Station.  That, I figured, might just turn a 30-minute trip into a harrowing 44-minute trip, and who wants to run from Herald Square to Penn Station carrying a pair of bags?

    Then again, I picked the Devils over the Flyers, so clearly I’ve been away too long.

    Posted by  on  04/28  at  03:06 PM
  3. Well done, Jamie!

    Posted by Hattie  on  04/29  at  12:50 AM
  4. Swimming is fun.

    Mixed feelings on the hockey result last night; but a hugely entertaining game nonetheless.

    Posted by  on  04/29  at  10:27 AM
  5. A hugely entertaining game ... that deprives us of an even more hugely entertaining Pens-Caps conference final, and leaves us with the bad mirror image of the West:  their second round gets the 1, 2, 3, 5 seeds (and the 5 is the frakking Red Wings), whereas ours gets the 4, 6, 7, 8.  Most annoying.

    Posted by Michael  on  04/29  at  10:45 AM
  6. Hugely entertaining for you.  Monumentally depressing for us.  What should we do next October - root for them to lose more often?

    Lovely to read about Jamie and to see him gaining in independence and confidence and all sorts of good things.

    Posted by  on  04/29  at  12:55 PM
  7. Though my last name truly is Fisher, I am not a good swimmer.  I am, however, a competitive runner, and I can say that this--"what matters is that he swam fifty meters in 1:16 last year, and he swam fifty meters in 1:06 this year"--is a really sound assessment of racing on land or in water.  Congratulations to both of you!

    Posted by J. Fisher  on  04/29  at  01:37 PM
  8. whereas ours gets the 4, 6, 7, 8.

    They were just laying low, in order to rest up for the real season. While i must root for the West, i feel a bit tenuous in forecasting their overall Stanley Cup win.  They will, much like last year, clobber each other into mush, and the victor will then have to play a superior foe from the East (and prey tell me how Detroit and Chicago stayed in the West?)

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  06:01 AM
  9. that deprives us of an even more hugely entertaining Pens-Caps conference final

    Hence the mixed feeling, although during the game I found the lizard brain had me unabashedly rooting for Montreal*. Does leave things kind of “blah”, with two should-win series for the inconsistent Pens.

    *I did feel a bit sorry for Varlamov after the 2nd goal (even though it was the defenders who really screwed that one up), must always tough when the other guy is standing on his head.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  08:50 AM
  10. and prey tell me how Detroit and Chicago stayed in the West?

    Geography. The NHL actually has fewer East-West anomalies than other North American pro leagues despite the unseemly eastward extension of the “West”. Detroit and Columbus are the the two furthest east West teams, and only Atlanta in the East is a bit to their west.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  08:55 AM
  11. That left me with the option of waiting for a weekend Q

    Admit it, Mr. Houghton; he’s got you there.  All that was missing was trying to catch the R from Queens ... naked.

    And great, now we no doubt get to see Stormcrow make the argument that Detroit and Columbus are actually in the Midwest.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  10:57 AM
  12. Now seems like a good time for me to tell the story of the bus crash that happened to me in the mountains just west of Columbus.

    Jamie’s head asploded at the Echo and the Bunnymen show, btw.  When Ian urged people to stop being so “respectful” (sitting and clapping after each song), Jamie was among those who got up and danced for the rest of the set.  I tried to stand as well, and was gently pushed back into my seat by the teenager-who-did-not-want-his-dad-crowding-his-space.  He yelled out “The Cutter” a couple of times between songs, and I assured him they would close the set with it, and they did.  It was the only thing I’ve been right about in the past two weeks.  Well, for those three minutes, head asploding.  While we waited for the encore (two songs, meandering, anticlimactic as usual), Jamie insisted that I had to tell them to play “Ripeness,” and when I replied that I could do no such thing, he said, “you have to.” WTF?  I don’t even know the song.  But he had a great time.

    Posted by Michael  on  04/30  at  12:46 PM
  13. NHL are as mafia-controlled as any pro-sports, but the wiseguys tend to be russian and./or can. sorts, rather than traditional La Cosa Nostra as per MLB or NFL (wit’ NBA as like ...descendants of meyer lansky’s side-racket). Ah holy Dimaggio and the Five Points gang, ratman

    Posted by Ezra Hound  on  04/30  at  12:59 PM
  14. Now seems like a good time for me to tell the story of the bus crash that happened to me in the mountains just west of Columbus.

    Bring it dude, Campbell *Hill*, just (north)west of Columbus at 1,549 feet--highest point in Ohio.

    now we no doubt get to see Stormcrow make the argument that Detroit and Columbus are actually in the Midwest.

    Nope, merely the unexceptional fact that these two midwestern teams are further west than all the teams in the Eastern COnference with the exception of Atlanta.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  01:19 PM
  15. Wait, Detroit is in the midwest now?  Not the industrial rust belt together with Cleveland and Buffalo, as we agreed in the Great Regionalist Debate of Aught-Eight?

    Posted by Michael  on  04/30  at  01:27 PM
  16. Wait, Detroit is in the midwest now?

    First, so to not piss off mds, please note that I did not argue that--I merely asserted it. And like a Venn diagram, the two designations do indeed overlap in places. But as Alan Sokal proved, I doubt that you po-mo humanities types even understand what I’m talking about when I introduce such a highly technical concept.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  01:39 PM
  17. McNall, y’all.

    Like his pal Jerry Buss, Bruce remains an Ellay star, however. A journey to Wikiland shows he’s currently the second-rated tax cheat in the state of California, owing about 7.5 mil. in back taxes.

    Posted by Ezra Hound  on  04/30  at  03:19 PM
  18. /Quick question:  Do the aliens on the Phoenix Coyotes have to prove their legal right to be employed in the USA, or, since they don’t have Latinized names, can they just be left alone?

    I vote we move two teams from the East Coast to the greater West, say New Mexico and Montana.

    Posted by  on  04/30  at  09:46 PM
  19. Jamie/Michael:
    How do you like the new Echo tracks?  I have not heard the new album. Is there consensus in your home on their best album?  I have to go with Ocean Rain. I’ve seen them a bunch of times, though not lately. I bet the concert was a blast.  Thanks for sharing the concert and swimming news--it makes wading through all the hockey stuff worthwhile. smile
    John

    Posted by  on  05/05  at  02:30 PM
  20. Thanks, John!  We haven’t bought the new CD yet, though.  Not sure about their best album, either, but we found the show most impressive....

    Posted by  on  05/07  at  11:57 AM
  21. Jamie is an astounding swimmer for me anyway because I can’t swim at all smile But I think he’s really good. The videos confirm it.

    Posted by resume writing service  on  06/30  at  02:13 PM

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below:


Next entry: ABF Friday*

Previous entry: My old school

<< Back to main