But the sun was shining bright at 6:20 as I started down the street to the Rec center. Halfway down the hill, I had an alarming thought: Did I remember my keys? Nine times out of ten I get paranoid, check for the keys, and find them right where they were supposed to be. This time however I was S.O.L. While digging through the dark recesses of my backpack it dawned on me that I forgot my lunch (and breakfast, dinner and snacks) as well. I turned around and climbed up that hill, finagled my way into the lockbox for the spare key, charged into the kitchen, and flung open the refrigerator door, expecting to find my lunch and my keys. (The theory, ala Dan is: You can’t forget your lunch if its with your keys. This however only works if you need your keys to access your car. Sometimes we need to learn things the hard way). Having shoved my precious victuals (strawberries, canteloupe and cottage cheese, a handful of almonds, 1 apple, 1 grapefruit, and 1 salad including greens, fish, chickpeas, olives, corn, and tomatoes, and a bag of red seedless grapes; you would turn around and climb back up a hill for this lunch too) into my backpack, I was nearly ready go. Minus one vital accoutrement: my keys. They weren’t in the fridge. They weren’t on the hook where I usually leave them. Not in my room… not on the counter. Not absentmindedly left in the Luna Bar/Power Gel/ Chocolate drawer …. Dang it all!!! My swim was getting shorter and shorter with every useless minute I spent checking every nook and cranny for my keys. I called Dan and left a desperate message, “Did you by any chance accidentally take my keys?” I continued to maniacally check every corner I could think of to no avail. This left one possibility to the keys’ whereabouts. The only plausible option was that my roommate found them, assumed they were misplaced, and put them somewhere more reasonable… BUT WHERE!? Dan returned my call as my lower lip started to quiver. I took a deep breath and pretended I was not about to cry. It was 6:50 am and I was supposed to have already been in the pool for 20 minutes at this point.
“Have you seen my keys anywhere??”
“No. Where did you last see them?”
“[sniffing like a kindergartener] In the fridge?”
“Maybe they fell into the back somewhere?”
“I’ll keep looking.”
The more I looked the more frenzied I became. I had a flash of brilliance; all I really needed was the key to my bike lock. I rifled through a zip lock back in my desk drawer. Score! I found a key! But alas it did not fit the lock. And this useless key made the 2,000 mile journery from Pawtucket to Boulder because….why????? ARGH!!!!
I opened the fridge one last time and in the corner of my eye, I saw twinkling in the bottom of the condiment door shelf… MY KEYS! Halle-freakin-lujah!!!!!
I raced to the rec center and stripped off my work outfit to reveal my swimsuit, donned my flip flops, snatched my cap, goggles, and ziplock-bag protected workout, went to lock my locker and realized… my lock was MIA. I had no time to fool around. I wrapped a towel around my waist and scampered out to reception to ask if my lock was in the lost and found. No dice. The nice man did however lend me one of their locks.
Finally, at long last the moment came. I was in the water. Time check: 7:08. The moment I pushed off the wall to begin my warm-up, the time ceased to matter. The fact that I’d gotten up at 6:05 was moot. I didn’t feel bad that I had mentally accused my roommate of stealing my keys. I didn’t care that I would not be able to complete the workout. I was swimming. I had nothing to think about beside completing the set, and moving onto the next. I forgot about all the time I wasted this morning because it got me to this time, one of the only times when I am able to stop thinking and relax. Aaah.