In the beginning. Here I am, seated with Leslie, her daughter Clementine, Chloe the blond, and Inca the non-blonde. Please excuse my bedhead. Jill and I stayed with Leslie and her husband Lucas for a night in San Diego. It was a most excellent reunion because Leslie is one of the most important people in my swimming life and my life life.
Let me explain. I met Leslie at a bar in Lawrence, KS when we were both in graduate school. She organized a graduate student happy hour, trying to mix with people outside her psychology department. Well, my physics buddies and I showed up. Somehow, even with our hypergeeky auras, we hit it off with Leslie and her crew. I kept coming back to the happy hours and eventually found out that Leslie and some of her friends were considering a triathlon, which sounded awesome to me. This is how Leslie became my #1 running buddy. And those grad school triathlons were my first real exposure to open-water swimming. (Although I defaulted to breast stroke in each one because I simply couldn’t sustain the crawl for more than 30 seconds.)
More importantly, however, Leslie is the reason I’m married to Jill. During the last year of grad school, I was hanging out with her and her friends at that same bar in Lawrence, KS when Jill and her friends walked in. Leslie’s friend Kim knew one of them and fostered a most-awkward introduction. I will be eternally grateful she did because the intro stuck: Jill and I have been together for eight years, married for three and a half.
So, thanks, Leslie and Lucas for hosting us in San Diego and for being such excellent people!