Last week I experienced a rather surreal moment while reporting at the USA Swimming National Championships.
I saw Aaron Peirsol for the first time since 2004, all grown up.
Yes it was bizarre that he ended the meet without a gold medal, but it was also a bit strange to see him again. He's now 27. I first met him when he was 17. I wouldn't say we have a friendship, but it is a friendly working relationship.
It was great to catch up with him. But this column isn't really about my encounter with Peirsol, who starred at Newport Harbor High. It's more about how he finished runner-up in the 100-meter backstroke and 200 back, this guy most people call, "the backstroke king."
And so I asked him, "When was the last time you ended a meet without a win?"
He looked me straight in the eye and replied, "It's not something I'm too personally hung up on considering what's coming up in two weeks. I was close in the 100. Overall it was a fun meet."