The Best of the Best

Eight and a half years ago, I posted the 26th best mid-season time for the NCAA men's 200 Freestyle.  That was as close as I ever got to being the best of the best.  I figure that's pretty good; roughly the 99.999997th percentile of college-age men.  Three and a half weeks later, I quit competitive swimming for Heather and a life of code, never to return.

I've never come close to that level of proficiency since.  Being there again is something I long for perhaps more than anything else.  Utter competence – no question of success or failure, just how grand the success will be.  No worry about the task at hand, complete trust in yourself and the ability to enjoy every moment in all it's glory.  "Poetry in motion" is cliche to the nines ; ), but it's exactly what it is.

It being Thursday night, Heather's off at choir, the kids are in bed, and I'm tired for beating my head against problem after problem (usually clients who can't make up their mind) at work.  So here I am dumping my mind into a blog post that few will read and fewer will really understand, listening to a song stream from YouTube.  Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring is a most beautiful song, and Celtic Woman's rendition from the Helix really brought back that feeling of perfection.  From 1:00 through 1:25 (particularly at 1:10 and 1:25), effortless perfection and enjoying every minute.  The rest of the song is beautiful, but pales by comparison.

6 responses to “The Best of the Best”

  1. Doug Hughes

    It's funny. I'm in a mood similar to yours. I'm on the verge of either concurring conquering a long-time personal goal or failing when I'm on the brink. I don't think I'll fail, but it gnaws and me and makes this whole process harder and more arduous than it needs to be. So, I long for the effortless perfection you describe.

  2. David

    You really need to take up golf – all your failure and frustration will be put into perspective.



  3. Dodo

    Your swimming may not have been the best of the best in the NCAA but it was certainly poetry in motion, a joy and beauty to behold.

    Streams of consciousness such as this are what dreams are made of.
    And if you don't have dreams, you can't have dreams come true.

    Beautiful music, by the way….

  4. Matt Williams

    It is a beautiful song. I find it interesting that this particular song would draw you when you desire to be the best or desire perfection. The song is about the one perfect being: Jesus.

  5. koen

    Three and a half weeks later? There's nothing like quitting when you're ahead. :)

    Even though coding is extremely satisfying in a similar way to repetitive physical activity, there's obviously something lacking. The fact is that you're an amazing programmer, you get hundreds of thousands of hits on your blog, everybody knows you're a genius, and you need a little exercise. Get back on your bike!