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If The Goggle Fits, Wear It

Pat Duggan - Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Perhaps you know the euphoria of finding that perfect match: a pair of goggles that stays put without threatening to suck your eyeballs right out of their sockets.

Over the next few weeks, you cautiously begin to build trust. After all, you’ve known betrayal before, but to your immense delight, these new goggles remain loyal and steadfast workout after workout, never wavering, but like any relationship, this one will eventually be put to the test.

Can they stand up to the stresses of a swim meet? There’s only one way to find out. Still, your gut tells you that this time will be different.

Confidently, you mount the blocks and execute that pivotal dive. OK, so the dive could have been better, or in my particular case—much better, but at least the goggles don’t disappoint so you forge on and then comes that first flip turn. After pushing off the wall, you begin to notice that the left gasket has started to take on water. After the next turn, both gaskets are rapidly filling and then your once faithful goggles elect to abandon ship altogether and hit the eject button, popping off your face and landing somewhere between chin and collar bone, but are they content to dangle there unobtrusively? No, not at all.

They soon begin to work their way skyward, giving you the appearance of eyes behind your head. When that game grows tiresome, they start to play boa constrictor, squeezing your neck until you forget all about making your seed time, maintaining technique or anything else. All you want to do at this point is to finish the 200 Free –and why do things always happen in longer races—without choking.

So how do you prevent an encore performance?

To the rescue: veteran competitor and record-holder Zena Courtney. Her solution?
When you finally do find that perfect style of goggles, invest in a second pair to reserve for races only. That way, the straps won’t be prone to stretching out of shape over time and letting you down when it really counts.

Gabe Bush adds this suggestion: Prior to the meet, take those new goggles out of the box for a test drive in the pool, just to make sure you have everything adjusted properly so you’re confident and ready to go on race day.

Good advice. Thanks Zena and Gabe! Now if I could only figure out how to keep up with them in the pool!

Filed under: Competition, Swim Gear

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