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If I had set off to swim first thing this morning I would probably be done by now, relieved. And yet.

In the middle of the night I kept waking and thinking about how I would go about getting a lane. I would dress and shower at home, wear shoes without socks, have my water bottle filled. I would walk through the direct doors to the pool instead of going through the locker room, and place my bag and water bottle at the head of the lane - the furthest lane if I were lucky. I would slip out of my clothes and enter that lane, right there, throwing my clothes into my bag. I thought about how I would get into the pool without having to take the stairs.  The last time I tried, I jumped in and hurt my knee, so this time I would try to lower myself. But I don't know how well that would work. I also don't know if I would be pushing someone else out of the way. "MINE!" "MINE!"

In the end I decided competition is not for me. And waiting a long time isn't either. Chances are that I would arrive at the same time as several other swimmers and would not be at the front of the pack, so would be there debating - wait or join one of the others? In the end I decided I would wait at home instead.

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Judith Lautner
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