Open Water

Open-water-swimmingI have several things coming up that my mind is ruminating upon. I’ve decided to venture back into the world of cake decorating again. I actually have a commissioned cake coming up – and a couple of weeks ago, even made a wedding cake for someone – which was the first one in several, several years. Somehow life, my job (carpal tunnel?) got in the way. I had lost the joy. But it is back (to a degree), and I look forward once again, to creating something of beauty.

I’m also considering a foray back into the world of competition. I swam competitively as a kid, and made a half-hearted effort at master’s swimming, but again, life, my job (financing my kids college educations?) seemed to get in the way. I have continued to swim – or practice as I call it, three to four times a week, but getting excited to compete has eluded me. I’ve entered swim meets – left early, disgusted with myself, and finally I stopped entering all together. I blamed my lack of interest on many things, but the truth is that I don’t want to work that hard – get that out of breath, any more. I’ve noticed however, that there is this trend towards distance events that many of my friends compete in. Most of them are triathletes of some renown, (kudos for me, being able to keep up with them in the pool!) but some of them seem to just be doing it to see if they can do it. In fact, I have sort of laughed under my breath at them, as I know they are not actually very good at any of the three sports, only good at going the distance. My sister is in the same group. I don’t really know how good she is at running, but she competes in all the Disney events – from the Disney Princess runs to the Disney “Goofy” weekend. This last year, she even went to the trouble of going across the country to run at a Disney event in California, as well as the one in Florida. Why? I guess because she can. She is competing against herself, and finding joy in the journey. She loves to collect the Disney medals & hangs them with pride in her trophy room. I’ve been quite bemused, wondering if she was just fooling herself, because she never wins, in fact I’m not even sure she is aware of where she places. But she finishes. She goes the distance. Something I’ve not been too interested in doing.

Until now.

I was looking at my Biorhythms a couple of months ago, looking for what my husband jokingly calls a trifecta – meaning that all three major categories – intellect, emotions and physical – were at the top of the chart. And I found a date in late October. Interestingly enough, this coincides with an open-water event that I noticed last year but opted out of (I blamed it on my father being ill, and not knowing if I would have to rush to his bedside or not – but in truth, I was just a wus.). In a moment of impulsive recklessness, I entered the event – paid my $200 before I came to my senses & now I am entered in the swim. Around Fort DeSoto. A near 7-mile swim. In open water. In the ocean.

What was I thinking? What have I gotten myself into?

It has been a rough couple of weeks (to say the least) of me questioning my sanity, and simultaneously trying to talk myself back into the event.

I went to a water park a couple of days ago & tried to swim “across” the wave swells in the wave pool. I nearly drowned. (Well, not really, but I felt wholly inadequate.) That was theoretically a “test swim” for this weekend. This weekend I am going to Jacksonville, FL to swim in the Hammerhead “Ocean Marathon”. Two and a half miles in the Atlantic. I should be fine. I swim 2-1/2 miles at practice frequently – in fact most days I go at least two miles. But there are walls in my swimming pool. And chlorine. And no fish or jellyfish.

But I entered, and I will be swimming.

Lets face it, I’m terrified. Wish me luck.


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