Then I headed to the pool for a swim. I had one of those swims where a good catch was just beyond my reach. I could feel it (and the immediate increase in speed) and then it would be gone. It was just enough to focus an already intense mood into a needle point of focused blackness. I went to the parking lot and updated the workout on my phone and while I was typing it, someone sat in a car wanting my parking space (there were others). To express their desire, they kept beeping their horn. I sent an abbreviated note to DW and somehow managed to avoid it transforming fully into a scene from a Peter Jackson blockbuster. "THOU SHALL NOT PARK!!"
The workout note, (which I later decided sounded really b*tchy prompting an email apology) addressed a conversation that we had last week about some lost efficiency in the water. DW had essentially said that it was okay to not achieve full efficiency (in the face of the many challenges I face as an athlete). On the one hand, he's right. I may not be able to achieve the form I know I should have because I am, well, old, fat, and broken. But I do not want to be let off the hook like that. Not now, not yet, not ever.
By letting myself off the hook, I may get some mental breathing space but I am practicing and ultimately perfecting bad form. I have enough limitations as an athlete to willingly accept one that I could prevent. Sometimes that error is not a limitation now, but becomes one later, requiring correction.
Every time I get in the pool, lace up my shoes, throw a leg over my bike, I am going to practice something. Whatever I practice, good form or poor form, will become habit. Those habits will shape my body, either making it stronger and more balanced or imbalanced with injury producing compensations. Those habits will form the foundation that will determine how far I can go before I reach the limits of my talent (ahem). Talent, determination, and correctness of form are the three elements of the equation that determines your limits. A person only has control over two of those.
There is a reason Vince Lombardi said "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."