Swimming has produced some of the best and worst moments of my life.
Take the time in Indianapolis when I was 6 years old, for example. We were on a family vacation and I ventured off into the deep end of the apartment complex pool and vividly remember struggling to save my life. I suffered for what seemed like an eternity before looking up from the cement edge of the pool and no one even noticed.
Then, there was the 1.2 mile Half Ironman swim in Muncie last weekend. It also seemed like an eternity, but there was something inside me that didn’t want it to end. When my hand hit the sand just before the swim exit I remember a subtle wave of disappointment running through my veins.
Today was the first time back at open water swim in about 3 weeks. I almost forgot how amazing it is to watch the sun rise over the island as you casually approach the beach. I’m not sure, but I think we had a record turnout today, 16 swimmers, plus the coach. And it was a pretty tough workout, but one that gave me more confidence.
It’s amazing what a good swim will do for you. It started with Muncie where I kept a solid pace for the entire 1.2 miles. There were a lot of challenges, including a bright sun in your eyes and no good sighting targets, but not once was I anxious. It was comfortable the whole way, and I am giving most of the credit to our open water swim training.
Up until Muncie, I more or less freaked out in every swim. Music City sprint, NashVegas Olympic, AdPi sprint, and Rev 3 Olympic. It sounds crazy, but I am starting to remember that feeling I had as a child (not the Indianapolis feeling) when I used to swim freely in Turtle Lake near our summer home in Wisconsin. It was always such a joy to feel the warm water splashing your legs as you did a head first dive and swam out to the floating pontoon where we spent most of our day diving in and chasing girls. I never remember fear of water, only how great I felt when I saw and felt it around me. That feeling is back in my bones.