Friday, July 17, 2015

Swim Math

I consider myself to be reasonably good at math. I got A's in calculus 1&2, linear algebra, differential equations, and graduate level parametric and nonparametric statistics courses. I have a PhD in engineering. I can make a spreadsheet do anything.

However, yesterday at swim practice when we had a set of 8 x 25's, I heard myself say, "35 second intervals? That math is too hard!"

If you grew up swimming your brain is probably wired to calculate every possible interval. Mine is not, particularly not at 6:30 in the morning.

Poor Coach Tom. We wore him down. He changed it to 40 seconds and pointed out "you'll always leave on a 20, 40, or top!" but that was too much rest so we switched back to 35 and he said he'd tell us when to go.

Well I did step up and figure out the math of when to go (30 seconds from the start - across an analog clock - and add 5). I took it upon myself to announce our leave times...but then I lost the ability to count laps.

"We're done!" I said excitedly to Janet and Rebecca at the wall, to which they stared and replied "that was 6 not 8." With that short conversation our on-time departure was delayed.

I can figure out the intervals OR I can count laps. I cannot, it turns out, do both.

It takes a "lane village" to get through a workout.