Whenever I go swimming I choose my lane carefully. Trying to avoid the old people who don't swim in straight lines and the young kids who are playing. When I got to the pool, there was one lane with a guy swimming beautiful clean, easy strokes, at a good clip. My kind of lane partner. I joined him and we pushed each other to keep our pace up. He took breaks, I did speed training, he did a long swim, with the styrofoam training thing between his legs (ie. not kicking), and then he got out of the pool. I was taking a break and noticed him getting out because he carefully raised his body out of the water. He swung his legs over, passively. Then he hoisted himself into a wheelchair, while saying to me "Nice Swim, see you soon." "Yeah, you too," I replied, "take care." I noticed it, I took pause. I hated being in a wheelchair. I feel so much sympathy when I see someone in them now. Especially, someone so young and vital and strong.
I feel like I have made such great strides in the two years since I was allowed to start walking again, but this guy. I know nothing of his story. I have no idea how long this has been his lot. I don't even know his name, but he made an impression on me. I hope he is well. I hope this is temporary and that his happy face isn't just a mask. I hope I see him swimming again.
Good Luck, Mr. Swimming Man. Thanks for making me appreciate things.