Trash Talking with Post- (and Pre-) Mid-Season Mudhole Swimming Meet Ruminations

Yesterday, in my home waters of the Sewickley Valley YMCA swimming pool, during a mid-season masters meet in the AMYMSA competitive league ( –popularly known as the Amish Mudhole Circuit ® due to the character-and-immune-system-boosting characteristics of our natatoriums and the pond water that fills them), a frail elderly gentleman had a rendezvous with a trio of abdominally chiseled youth.

It was a classic match-up: those to whom life has given so much—looks, virility, muscles, girly action—vs. one from whom life has lamprey-eeled away whatever crumbs of such gifts it had ever begrudgingly bestowed, though there weren’t many.

And on this note, let us meet our contestants, shall we?

In lane 6, the magnificent Jeremy Cornman, whose triathletic accomplishments are the stuff of Pittsburgh legend.  Yinz rilly done all ‘at n ‘at? Git aht! has been asked of young Jeremy so frequently about his visits to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii that the phrase itself should be trademarked and sold on wife beater-style T-shirts whose abdominal regions have been stitched of diaphanous material to better showcase the abs.

Note: those interested in gleaning some actual information about actual stuff can check out an article I wrote for Men’s Health Online about young Jeremy’s recent Kona race and a bout with the heartbreak of SIPE:

Jeremy Cornman, Ford Ironman nonpareil and aspiring underwear model, with his lovely bride, Jocelyn Smith, whose underwear modeling is already quite professional, in my opinion, and from whom I would dearly like to evoke the third of Conan the Barbarian’s famous trio of purposes in life: “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

In lane 2, the masterpiece of hunkdom, John Fisher, whose handsomeness and whole-body muscularity is such that he is arguably the only pharmaceutical reps in the nation not to have been voted “prettiest girl” in his sorority.   As the first male winner ever of the Donna Rice/Monkey Business Award, the top honor given out annually to comely drug pharmaceutical reps who have moved the most product by subtly moving the loins of aging doctors, John’s gender clearly does not seem to bother the persuadable physicians upon whom he pays calls: they buy pretty much anything this ruggedly heterosexual father of two and husband of one (that we know of) peddles!

John “the human fork lift” Fisher effortlessly hoisting a burden I could not raise with the help of the best machinery.  Curiously, though, I am also know as “the human fork lift” though for entirely different reasons.

In lane 4, Ryan Sanders, an indefatigable swimming machine who is rumored to swim laps in Lake Erie, actually doing flip turns on Canadian soil but doing them so quickly that the Mounties cannot arrest him.  He is known to Canadian Border Patrol as simply l’American railleries qui nous rend fou avec sa magnificence (“the taunting American who drives us crazy with his magnificence.)

Ryan Sanders reportedly enjoys water-skiing when he actually wants to slow down in the water.

And finally, in lane 6, yours truly, Jim Thornton, a sexagenarian blogger whose abdominal obesity makes it virtually impossible for him to waddle without a serious bout of exercise-induced hypoglycemia, and whose prospects for “lasting much longer” in this veil of tears is such that America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP—for more info, click here: ) attempted to carve out a special exception in the Affordable Care Act allowing Jim Thornton to be the one American legally excluded from even the possibility of health coverage.

The extended belly that Bill White has accomplished through malnutrition, Jim Thornton has easily exceeded by piggish wolfing of his favorite food: bon-bon-marinated butterscotch sundaes made of pork butt and high fructose corn syrup.

Oh, and there was a woman, Kristin Stewart, but since I can’t steal a picture from Kristin on Facebook, and because she managed to beat all of the above, that’s all the mention we will be making of her, thank you very much.

Okay, so now back to the spectacle of male competition, which, frankly, is the only thing that viewers of the AMYMSA “Amish Mudhole Circuit ®” Highlite Reel on cable access ever really tune into anyway.

The four of us (and Kristin) mounted the blocks.

The starter suggested we take our marks.

The youngsters did so; the frail elderly gentleman with the glucose problem merely attempted not to fall off the blocks while crouching over in a way he hoped would not cause a flair up of sciatica.

Then there was a tremendous electronic beep, which to my mind is the exact sound the last trumpet itself shall make: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

And this, indeed, is what came to pass.

Jeremy Cornman, 33: not a winner.

John Fisher, 38: not a winner.

Ryan Sanders, 32: not a winner.

Kristin Stewart, 39: not a (penis-owning) winner.

Jim Thornton, three score and 70 days: a winner!

I do not agree with everything that is written in the Bible.  But when I do, it is 1 Corinthians 15:52, which I agree with and once again came to pass. Stay thirsty for victory in your dotage, my friends.

Note to readers who have made it this far: what remains is arcane minutiae of a masters swimming nature.  I excuse any and all non-swimmers at this point from further consideration of today’s entry.  Class dismissed, in other words!  On the other hand, I shall not stop you from reading on if you want to!

Next weekend, the only Short Course Meters (SCM) swimming meet within driving distance of my home is taking place at a high school pool in Hudson, Ohio.  Unlike our AMYMSA league, where times usually count only for bragging rights within our membership ranks, the Hudson meet is going to be sanctioned for USMS consideration (United States Masters Swimming) and thus will qualify for Top 10 consideration across the country .  Moreover, since it is one of the two meters venues (short course meters meets are swum in 25 meter pools; long course meters meets, like the Olympic games, are swum in 50 meter pools), times swum at the Hudson meet will also qualify for Top 10 in the world consideration by FINA, the international governing body for the sport of swimming  .  (There are no FINA “masters tabulation” Top 10 times listed for races in 25 yard pools, which though the most common swimming venue in the U.S., just don’t exist in most of the rest of the metric world.)

Having just “aged up” to 60, and now being one of the relatively younger old dogs in the 60-64 age group, I am trying to make as many TT in both USMS and FINA as I can.  It looks like I might have already squeeked in for the 100, 200, and 400 in a meet last spring.  So I am hoping to try some events that I usually don’t swim with the goal of adding a few more kudos to my life list of swimming accomplishments/dog show-esque placements.

Here are the events I am thinking about swimming.  I took the current 5th place time in the USMS “event rankings” for SCM in my age group, then converted them to yards times to see if I have a shot at beating them.

50 fly 31:05 = 28.05  Dubious.

100 fly 1:11.76 = 1:04.83  Possible but not too likely.

100 IM 1:12.37 = 1:04.29 Dubious.

200 IM 2:46.77 = 2:28.15 Likely give than I did a 2:24 in yards already this year.

400 IM 6:59.98 = 6:16.11 Likely, though I haven’t swum this event without a body suit and don’t know if my “come to a standstill breaststroke” leg will prove too big a handicap.

800 free 10:34.50 = 12:01.27 (for 1000 yards) Possible given that I swam a 5:42 at the Mudhole meet yesterday.  I should be able to hang on to a 1:12 pace for yards necessary to do a 12:00 flat for the 1000, but it will depend on hypoglycemic status.

Updates to come unless I am felled.  

Keep an ear out for that Corinthian coronet!







2 thoughts on “Trash Talking with Post- (and Pre-) Mid-Season Mudhole Swimming Meet Ruminations

  1. What I cannot fathom, John Thornton, is how my blog can have 29 Facebook likes and only a total of 22 views! And the infinite loop I have so intricately tried to create between this and my USMS vlog, which has 46 views, has not helped matters at all! I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg is doing something nefarious to my prospects for luchre? I am losing money.

    But perhaps our fortunes will chance soon with the imminent posting of the Thornton Twins Podcast episode: Test Podcast!

  2. What a terrific blog entry. I was TOTALLY amazed that the old guy ended up beating the young hunks! Who could have guessed? There is something to be said for the sheer craftiness of senior citizens! Way to go byJimThornton!!!!!!!!

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