Tuesday, January 08, 2008

andrew zinn is tougher than you

saturday afternoon i texted alicia.
- off to UD swim meet rite now. impressed?
- u might b bored... just coached @ drexel all morning... ugh... 9000yds. one kid passed out.
- muscled men in speedos evrywhere -- how cd i be bored? passing out after 9000yds seems entirely reasonable.
- haha. that is how i got through college... 4 years of speedos.

i went to the UD vs. Towson swim meet at the urging of my swim coach (yes i have a swim coach now, yippee!!). the freestyle prodigy glenn coached at mckean is now the rockstar sprinter at UD; dude's name is andrew zinn. not quite The Heat, but respectable nonetheless.

the natatorium was packed when i showed up, and the crowd was rumbling to the finish of the men's 200 IM. shouts rose for "ZINN ZINN ZINN" on the final leg, and presumably zinn was the man who brought home the victory.

the gentleman beside me twitched with glee. how funny to be so caught up in someone else's race, i thought, dismissing my own twitches. i watched and marveled at the beauty of the men's 500 free (the winner consistently nailing 15 strokes per length, wow; last place was @ 19) and watched the crowd visibly wilt in sympathy during the women's 200 fly, when a women who'd held the lead since the gun was touched out and lost by 0.01 seconds.

the twitchy man was talking excitedly with the man on his right about andrew this and andrew that.
- excuse me - i said - are you talking about andrew zinn?
- yes. do you know him?
- no, but the guy i swim with, for, does. he used to coach for mckean.
- you mean glenn?
- yeah.
- oh, glenn's right there - and twitchy man pointed to where glenn stood one person down the rail.
- oh he's right there - i repeated, and waved down to glenn - do YOU know andrew?
- he's my son.

that would explain the glee, and excitement. poor man, i GRILLED him for information -- when did his son start swimming (late, at age 8), is he a natural athlete (a talented runner too) and does he do monster 9000yd training sessions (no, he's on restricted yardage because his shoulders are WRACKED).

there are only 4 more meets in the regular season before championships start in feb, so zinn's swimming career is winding down. there's masters swimming but sure that's a fraction of the glory of NCAA competition. each victory must be bittersweet as it brings him one step closer to the end. as we watched zinn set a new school and pool record in the 50 free (20.44), demolishing by 2/10 sec the standard he himself'd set last year, i need to know something.

- does he still love it? - i asked andrew's dad.
- i think he'll be happy to be done. his shoulders always hurt.

much respect to zinn for gitting the job done under duress. that takes guts man.


addon said...

pheugh. think i will go for a paddle in the kids' pool. 15 minutes tops. yeah that'll do it.

finn said...

not believing it for a sec. you Aussies are half porpoise, native or no.

Brown Suga' said...

Gotta agree with Finn, Adam. An amphibious lot, y'all are.