The word fray no longer makes me think of threadbare jeans or ratty-edged towels. It makes me think of the swim start in a triathlon, when your heart has hummingbird wings that beat inside your throat. When, after waiting for hours for your heat to begin, you finally line up shoulder to shoulder with your comptetitors, and you finally run into the water, and when it’s knee deep, you finally dive in and and you slither over another swimmer and you get kicked in the face and elbowed in the ribs, and you suddenly feel a knee in your back as a swimmer slithers over you and you go under and swallow lake water, and then you pop up again and get elbowed in the ear and you try to cough out the water and hope your goggles don’t get kicked off. That’s what fray is to me. Being in the fray at the start of an open water swim.
*Photo from the TriAmerica triathlon in 2002, in our pre-children life. I’m not sure whether my husband or my mom took the picture, or even if I’m in it. This is my entry for The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Fray.