“What was my time?”
After each race, as I climbed out of the pool and looked to my timers, these were the first four words out of my mouth. As I got older and technology got better I was able to turn my head and see my time posted on the scoreboard high above. In a sport that is based entirely on your time and results are clear, you begin to become obsessed with the clock. Getting your hand on the wall faster than your opponents is crucial and making various “cut times” for different meets, is the sole focus of your season. As age group swimmers, Abby and I attended the “Top 10 Banquet” nearly every year. This event recognized swimmers at various age groups, who had posted a time that was in the top 10 for New England Swimming. (Interesting side note: Matt and I were both invited to these events as 10 & under swimmers, but it was before we officially met. I am fairly certain, that the little boy who used to cut in front of me as I waited patiently in line for a Shirley Temple, had to have been Matt). Although going to these events meant missing crucial hours of Trick-Or-Treating, we loved going and being honored for our “fast times.”
The faster you became, the harder it was to drop time and your focus on dropping seconds, became tenths of a second, and finally to hundredths. So many races are won or lost by hundredths of a second. I am sure that almost everyone witnessed Michael Phelps’ miraculous win at the Beijing Olympics in the 100 Butterfly. He out touched the second place swimmer by just 1/100th of a second.
After graduating from college, my swimming career sadly came to an end. Transitioning from an athlete to a young profession has been hard. I wish that there was a way to document success in the workplace that is black and white like a time. While there are performance reviews and successful “deals,” there is no score board to look to at the end of work day, to see where you pan out.
Over the weekend, Matt and I competed in the JP Morgan Run As One that was held in Central Park. This four mile race is one of the many events that New York Road Runners puts on during the year. Matt and I joined Road Runners this year and have already competed in 4 races this Spring. This past weekend, I achieved a Personal World Record (PWR)! While I have only run that distance once before a few weeks ago in the Run for Haiti, knowing that the second time I ran the course, I improved and achieved a better time, brings a smile to my face. Now, if only I could figure out a way to achieve a PWR at my job, or in terms of my “fiance-abilities”, I would be all set.