I took the kiddo swimming in Berlin. Our hotel had a pool in the basement. Very standard in European hotels. And they tend to be small, like 10 x 3 meter pools, meant for laps.
As I was showering afterwards I found myself thinking about Wildflower. I suppose because the last time I was swimming laps in a European basement pool, I was training for it. Wildflower is a triathlon in California. It’s kind of a nasty one. They have 3 distances, sprint, oly, and half. The half is so harsh it is a qualifier for Iron Man Kona. One of the few halves that is a qualifier.
Anyway, I was doing Team in Training, as a way to escape the ridiculous vacuousness of my wedding. And training had been super fun. I had raised all the funds, including a donation from my doctor when I went to see him for a broken ankle during the training process. LOL. I have made skills.
So come race day, I got down to the staging area so early almost no one else was there, well no participants I knew anyway. The director of our TNT Team had said that our race tags were different from others and that we couldn’t go just by the number, we needed to go to the outside row first, then find our number. Totally clear right? So I get down there, it’s like 530 in the morning, and I go to the outside row, find my number, and set up all my stuff. Then I head off to get coffee, pee, find friends, etc.
When I come back, there are some people, specifically three guys setting up their stuff. Three tall, zero percent body fat, lean muscled guys with really expensive looking equipment. huh. We sort of look at each other for a moment and then the penny drops.
I gulp and say, “I think I’m in the wrong spot.” Two of the guys look away and choke down their laughter, one politely says with a German accent, “I think you might be, yes.”
Nothing like being a 300 plus pound, totally out of your league, first time sprint triathlete in the profession athlete line. Oops.
Apparently it was the other outer row I was supposed to go to. This is why I firmly believe it never pays to be early. LOL