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The harbor seal let me know that everything was going to be okay. It didn't say (or bark) anything, though we were certainly close enough for conversation, bobbing a few strokes apart in the swells beyond the breakers off Zuma Beach in Malibu. The seal was sleek, serene, and floating comfortably. So was I. It was at that moment that I realized, serenely, that the triathlon the next day would be no problem.