A few days before heading down to Tucson, I heard a funny story from my past.

The year is about 1990, and it's time for me to learn how to swim. Do you remember the old school intro to swimming levels?

Well apparently one of the first levels was Guppies. After that you graduate to salamanders. If you were the swimming type, from there you could upgrade to other marine life, at some time eventually moving up to the shark level. After that were the coloured levels, yellow, red, purple, etc. I think these have recently been replaced by numbered levels.

Ok, back to the story. I'm attempting this whole swimming thing as a first time guppy. 1 month after starting lessons, it's time for our evaluation. Here I am in the Grand Forks public pool, age 5, 40 lbs soaking wet, and I was declined my guppy status. Harshness.

About 12 years later I attempted swimming again. Apparently you need to pass a swim test in order to coach sailing. Probably a good thing.

So I swam in the Oak Bay Rec pool for a couple months and just barely passed the swim test so I could coach sailing. Enough of that.

A year or two later, my buddy Joel and I decided to swim in the morning at the Rec Centre. I can remember sitting in the hot tub with Joel and his old man Adam one morning. I remember Adam's exact words, "So Stevo, do you try and look like you're drowing while swimming?" I didn't really have an answer. Probably because I had just gulped down half the water in the pool.

Fast forward. Today my swim felt like it hasn't changed. Harshness.

Fast forward again. Post race flush swim. I finally started to relax. What's the difference here?

G-man, remember gymnastics? I remember watching some of your earlier competitions; tense during the judged competition, and perfect when fooling around after.

It's all part of the journey, and I suppose things may have improved slightly since guppies.

After all, as PK says, "The reward is in the journey."

Back to preparations.

Rest well.