Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hour of Power

Today was unseasonably cold in Atlanta. When it's "cold" here, my thoughts turn to my college days, which, for the most part, were far colder. 55 degrees and sunny? That's t-shirt weather at Colby College. Today is October 30th, and in just two days my alma mater will be able to officially begin their season. The calendar's turn to November also means something else: the Hour of Power is nearly upon us.

What is the Hour of Power? Two weeks from today, on November 13th, at 4 pm central time, swim teams across the country will set about swimming a continuous relay, all at race pace, all synchronized on the same lap. The event started in 2006 in memory of Ted Mullin, who passed away in 2006 from a rare form of cancer, Sarcoma. The event serves many purposes: it's a fun practice for the swimmers involved (Ted's favorite set), a great way to commemorate his life, and it serves as a rallying point for fund raising for the Ted Mullin fund at the University of Chicago. 

I've written about this event before, but much of it bears repeating. Here's what I wrote three years ago:

"[Ted] was a guy who was the same age as me, and yet I was assured of all the things that were in doubt for him. Ted wanted to go back to school and finish his senior year as captain of his team, but it was not in the cards. Ted loved the sport and wanted to share that with other people. His was a life very much like many of the athletes I swam with and now coach. That is why I think this event can be so great. It is an opportunity for many important things: to raise money for a worthy cause, perhaps to put your life in perspective, and to uplift yourself, your teammates, and the Mullin family."

I guess at some point I should mention how I met Ted. For two years at Colby College, I was teammates with his little brother, Evan. Like his brother, Evan was a teammate that knew how to "leave it in the pool". Evan was my lane mate, the guy who I could count on to chase every day. I was his counter for the 500 free- and he was one of the men responsible for the highlight of my college career. In my final race of my final home dual meet of my college career, I was part of a pool record setting relay. With the meet in hand against our arch rival Bowdoin college, I joined up with Evan and two other teammates (Jabez Dewey and Sam Wampler if you must know) to swim a 400 freestyle relay. 

I was the slow man on the relay. Sometimes I wish I had a picture of the finish, but the one in my mind is probably better.  Jabez anchored the relay. When he touched, Evan lifted his hands in the air in victory and we hugged.

In any case, the details are unimportant, what's important is that you should participate in this event, especially if you fit into one of the following categories:

1. Think that cancer sucks

2. Ever had a great teammate like Evan or Ted Mullin

3. Like relays

4. Did I mention cancer sucks?

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