Saturday, September 19, 2015

Turtle in Boston Harbor

I was actually kinda scared here

I'm having a hard time with writing this one, as I am not really sure what I want to say about it.

I swam Boston Sharkfest today.  It's a reasonably easy swim as far as open water swims go -- 1500 meters across the Boston Harbor.

Thing is, I wasn't prepared.

I had not been swimming enough and possibly might have been advised not to attempt it if I'd admitted it to the race organizers or had any coaching at all. (Though if I'd had coaching, I doubt I would have been unprepared).

I wasn't last. I was second to last.  Sure, sure, dead last is better than did not finish, and even did not finish is better than never tried!

I was lucky.

The day was perfect, there wasn't much wind, the water was like glass, and was quite warm for mid-September in Boston (68F).

And even being unprepared, I loved it.   I was scared going in, worried that I had lost any cold water conditioning.  I know that sounds goofy for 68F, but a couple of people around me were in wetsuits and congratulating my bravery for swimming skins.  The minimal training I'd done had been in a pool at least ten degrees warmer, and even any minimal open water swimming I'd done had been a month before off the Virginia coast.  Warm. (Didn't do any when I went to Bermuda.  That wasn't lazy, but merely lacking in time because of the ship's schedule.  I need to go back and correct that!)

So, I was pretty nervous before this swim.

But once I got in and realized the water was merely cool rather than cold, all I had to do was swim.
There's a relaxation that comes from finally getting in the water.  All you have to do is swim and do your best.

I also think that the reality is that I'm going to be nervous before most swims I do, and that's okay.  I mean, I'm am experienced teacher and I get stage fright before a class, for pity's sake.  I figure as long as being scared doesn't paralyze me (and it generally doesn't), I can just check that off as a standard emotion I get before an event and just go with it.

I had to do a lot of the event breaststroke.  Yeah, yeah, it was good enough for Captain Webb and all.  I say that all the time.  And goodness knows it got me across the harbor just fine.

That doesn't change the fact I've got to buckle down this winter -- throw in some weight training and even <shudder> some dryland CV work.

Still I did finish!  And what also important?

I had fun.

It wasn't on purpose, but this pose is highly reminiscent
 of the image on the Isshin-Ryu patch - Mizugami

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