Friday, 27 May 2011

The tale of the stripey towel: how I missed my chance to savour success

Ya gotta laugh at life. 

Last weekend I did the Bondi Bluewater Challenge ocean swim and crossed the finish line, grateful (as always) that I wasn't the last swimmer home. 

Afterwards my support person, Ms Fivestar, and I didn't consider going to the awards presentation at the surf club. I have a dismal track record for lucky-door prizes and raffles. And I never ever place in a swim (I take that back - I came third in the Mollymook swim in April, but there was no prize, just an honorable mention).

Insead, last Sunday Fivestar and I trotted off to a cafe and then home. 

It wasn't until Wednesday night that I thought to check the swim results. My time was ordinary, but I wasn't unhappy with it. Then I noticed where I finished in my age group - 3rd. What? How could that be possible? 

Disbelieving, I checked again and discovered how. There were only three women in my age group! How funny is that.

Nonetheless, I had placed behind two extraordinary competitors, Jillian and Jenny - the latter is an elite swimmer.  

Apparently my name was called out, and my prize for 3rd place was a 'stripey towel'. 

Am I disappointed I wasn't there to collect the stripey towel and to stand beside and shake the hands of my fellow athletes, just like the placegetters do at the Olympic Games? 

Sort of. I've never stood on a podium before (I'm sure there was no podium, but I always imagined I'd stand on one if I ever won anything). 

Never before have I won a medal, trophy or prize for a sporting achievement, though when I was 10 I got a sew-on patch after my primary school's B-grade netball team, of which I was a member, won its category in the inter-schools netball competition. (I played wing defence.)

I guess it would've been nice to bring home the stripey towel so I could show off to Spanner who, after every ocean swim I do, sends me the text message: "Did you win?" Ha ha. Ho hum.

Then again, I'm not the sort of person who's comfortable in the limelight, no matter how small the globe. And it's just a nice feeling to know I finally placed in an ocean swim, though I'll never get to rub third prize in Spanner's face.


Anita Joy said...

Rah rah rah *said with imaginary pom poms*. Yay, Shayne, on winning (even if you don't have the stripy towel to show for it). Maybe you'll have more luck with the door prizes now too...

Shayne said...

Thanks Anita,
Is this the first minute of the 15?

Richard said...

Congratulations on your victory!
Don't show any embarrassment about slow times. Even if you're an average swimmer like me, if you enter enough swims, you will find that on some days all the cards fall in your favour. Just grab your prize and run.