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From 19 strokes to 13 in 15 minutes. Just add water. by Louis Tharp

Posted on Jully 10, 2011

By Louis Tharp

Thanks to Cynthia Boaz from Truthout for reminding me that in" Gandhian language, the means and the ends are inseparable," because that is the only way to explain what happened at practice today.

Gandhi's point was, "That which is won through violence must be sustained through violence. That which is won through mass civil nonviolent action is more legitimate and more likely to be sustainable over the long term."

She was talking about the prospects for Tunisia and Egypt. I'm talking about how to get Michael from 19 strokes to something much lower in 15 minutes.

The means - practice - and the ends - competition - are inseparable. That's why we don't use toys in practice, but you know that already, even if you insist on using toys, you still know it. Even if it feels so good when you're saddled on that pull buoy and strapped into the paddles, you know it has nothing to do with competition and nothing to do with getting better. It just feels good the way watching Fox News feels good to someone who isn't interested in facts.

It is imperative to get stroke count under control in order to compete, and the whining from high muscle-mass triathletes about not being able to float (I know most of you can sit on the bottom of the pool with lungs full of air but that doesn't mean you can't float) and how 20 strokes must just be normal for me is enough to make even a Montessori graduate pull out the wooden ruler and start cracking knuckles Catholic nun-style...

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