Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Open Water Swim at Lucky's Lake

Lucky's Lake
This morning before work, I went to Lucky's Lake with Jason, Kelly, and MaryLynn, and I made the crossing! I swam 1000 meters, in a lake, and didn't drown or get eaten by a gator :)

Wow! I still cannot believe I really did this. My intention was to get in the lake, swim 50-100 meters out to get a taste for what it'd be like, then come back to the safety of dry land, but Kelly would have none of that! She was confident we could do this and her enthusiasm was contagious--not to mention I couldn't let her sign the wall alone =P

I had my pull buoy, so I wasn't afraid I wouldn't make it, I was just afraid I'd freak out. The turtles swimming near the shore, as cute as they were, did not help ease my nerves, but feeling that the water wasn't freezing helped calm me down a bit. I think I am more afraid of cold water than I am of the creatures that lurk below.

The dog barked and the vets were off. We got in slowly, considered turning around for a second or two, but finally began swimming after some more encouragement from Kelly. I took it easy and didn't freak out! This was probably because no creatures touched me lol. I don't think I could have made it without the buoy, or it would have taken all eternity -- this only took half of eternity ;) Our estimate is 40 minutes roundtrip--not counting the break at the beach on the other side of the lake before turning back. I need to work up to swimming without the pull buoy, but today was about conquering my fear of the open water, and not drowning, and I did that!

I had to stop several times, to tread water or get on my back, but I didn't do this as often as I thought I might and I was always in motion--even when on my back. This was partially because I can't swim straight to save my life, I kept losing where the dock was, and I didn't want to swim on my back for a 100 meters in the wrong direction :) I also felt I would freak out if I stopped for too long and let it sink in that I was in the middle of a lake, with several hundred meters between me and dry land, god knows how many miles from touching the bottom, and probably inches from all kinds of creatures.

The worse part was about 100 meters from the shore -- I think, I have no perception of distance out there -- where I could see the end so close, but it seemed that no matter how hard I tried it just wasn't getting any closer. I finally made it to the other side and felt a little queasy. We rested for a bit, then headed back. There were far less people in the water now, but Lucky's house is HUGE so it was easier to keep in my sights than the tiny boat ramp. The way back felt easier, and I seemed to find my groove faster. I guess I was warmed up by then and had more confidence now that I had already done this once.

I finally reached the beach and was ecstatic that I had done it! We signed the wall, took some photos, then were off to work, still in awe at what we had just done. I am so glad Kelly didn't let me back out, or I would have regretted. Kelly, you are the best training buddy ever!

Lucky's Lake

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