The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

My Swimming Past

I don't really remember the fist time I went Swimming, or took swimming lessons. I remember going to the pool at Howe Bridge sports centre many times, but I also remember swimming in an old barn of a pool often too - maybe the Tyldsely Baths?

I do remember how "important" it was to show your progress on your bathing suit (or trunks as they were called). The more badges you had stitched on your bathing suit, the more bad-ass you were. I do remember that badges were handed out for milestone distances. 10 metres, 25 metres, 50 metres etc.

I also remember, standing around the school yard one day, I must have been about 6 years old. "Oh yeah, I got my 100 metre badge" declared someone (I want to say it was David Gibson, but I can't be certain).  "So what," I retorted, "I got my 200 metre badge". I was bluffing, and he called me on it. "Okay, bring it to school tomorrow and prove it!" was the comeback.

Jeepers, what have I done?? "Mom, mom, I HAVE to go to the pool tonight and get my 200 meter badge!!!" I don't know if I told her how or why I needed it, but we packed up and headed to the pool. But -- the kicker... they were all out of 200 meter badges. But, they had the ULTIMATE badge left, 400 meters ... and low and behold, that was the night I swam 400 meters for the first time. And I was the UBER-STUD on the playground the next day!

I was a bad-ass mofo wearing all these sweet badges on my trunks.
More badges from England
My Canadian Swimming Badges - I recall "failing" the green badge (middle center) at least 3 times before finally getting it!

And now for some "Speed Swimming" awesomeness (which prompted this post). Andrew competed in the Cornwall Sea Lions Invitational Swim Meet this weekend -- he did well. Most importantly, he beat my PB in the 100m freestyle event @ 1:19.81. Now, I remember competing in Cornwall several times as a young Brockville Swimmer.  I also remember winning First Place Novice swimmer against a field of Serious Bad Ass swimmers including the Host Cornwall team and also the dreaded Ernestown Barracudas.

Stop the presses! Phil Barnes kicks Ass!
Well, looking at my results from this meet, I'm not such a Bad-Ass afterall. But hey, I was only 10.
My haul of "Ribbons" from the Seaway Invitational Meet
Various other ribbons to prove my prior awesomeness.