Patrick somehow convinced me that 5:30 in the morning is a great time to wake up on a Saturday, to drive up to Deer Creek and go for a long swim. He is one of my better friends, but is also on the short list for being removed. I can’t afford to have friends who constantly push me to be better.
We met at the Park and Ride, near Thanksgiving Point (This is a popular spot for meeting up with people before an event or training run, bike, etc.) He bought us a couple of breakfast burritos (sounded great at the time), which were waiting for us when I jumped into his car. I ate some of one and had some Gatorade, as well. My stomach started to cook the contents as we talked about the impossibility of swimming four miles.
When we arrived, I silently cursed the overcast clouds. I hadn’t brought my wetsuit and things were looking a little chilly at 5417 feet. But we trekked down toward the water, anyway, since neither of us has ever been good at backing out of us stuff.
Patrick led the way for the first mile (Spoiler Alert: Patrick led this entire swim), as we worked into the southern channel of the creek. It was quiet and the only alarming thing about it was when we reached the southernmost part of it- because we touched ground. Panicking, we hauled butt as fast as we could, back north to work back toward the main water of the creek. I should note that, while Patrick and I make a pretty decent team, we sort of scare each other off with our own phobias.
Reaching 2 miles was noteworthy for me. I’d never swam more than 1.7 miles (Utah Lake), which happened this week. So I wasn’t exactly a candidate for Distance Swimmer of the Year. There was a quiet, secret part of me that started devising a plan that would help Patrick call the rest of the swim off. He didn’t budge. I’m pretty sure he was going for 7 miles, secretly.
At mile 2.5, I started complaining about my left shoulder. (My role in Team Stupid, is to complain until Patrick gets angry.) Patrick then broke away from Phillips Conventional Wisdom (This is where you push your teammate until he bleeds or is hauled away on a stretcher) by suggesting that I cut across the creek to end my swim short.
I’ll be honest- it sort of made me mad. Patrick was basically suggesting that I should swim a lesser amount. But once he finished I knew that all I’d hear about was how hard his swim was. I told him I’d quit when he did.
My shoulders and arms burning, we finally called it a day and ended our adventure at 3.5 miles. This was a record distance for the both of us, and we celebrated by driving back to the Park and Ride in silence, sick and feeling potentially elated.
While I’m glad that we did this swim, I am very concerned that Patrick will want to push us to 4 miles, next week. But I suppose that, in the long run, I won’t take out the eraser and remove Patrick from my list of Better Friends. With my arms and shoulders completely crippled in a few years, I’ll have to find someone else to do it.