My First PR

Depending on how many hairs you want to split, you may be inclined to rattle off a list of PRs starting with breathing, eating, etc. I suppose you could do that. My guideline for a PR is that it is defining by nature. A Bench-press PR defines you as a lifter. I bench 200 pounds, I bench 300 pounds, etc.

As a kid growing up in a coastal town in New England, boating was always on my mind. I was intrigued by boats as soon as I laid eyes on them so you can imagine the joy I felt when my dad purchased a small dinghy for us and built a dock in the backyard that lead out to the cove we lived on. I was probably 6 and I wanted to drive that boat. “No problem”, my Dad said, “You can take it out by yourself!” “Just as soon as you show me that you can swim, by swimming out to the raft at the town beach, and back”. That is where the brakes screeched. I knew that raft. I saw it out there every time I went to the beach. It loomed out there. It was way out there. It was meant for the big kids.  In the eyes of a 6-year-old it might as well have been 10,000 miles away, and worse, it was in a depth that was well known as beyond the scope of my good sense. It was in a depth that was “over my head”.

I don’t remember the series of events leading up to the actual swim but I remember it was very casually fed to me. I think we went to the beach for an evening swim after my father got home from work and next thing I knew I was swimming to the raft. That was intentional on my father’s part I am sure. There is no way I would have walked down to the beach to actually be tested on that swim without significant protest. He likely tricked me into it.

Then he tricked me again when I stood there up to my waist in water still happily in the safe-zone and he said “just swim out a little further to me”… as he moved further and further out towards the raft. But it was too late. My six-year-old feet had started kicking, my full trust was in my father and I was headed to the raft. Scared, wet, protesting and swimming… to the raft.

I walked home a new man. Never looking back at the non-raft swimming lifestyle of my earlier days. No, I walked home a raft-swimmer. More importantly, I walked home a boater!

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