Posted by: forgingahead | May 17, 2008

An Amazing Week

This week was one for my personal record book. I tried three new things! Well, two of them technically weren’t completely new, but this is my story and I get full creative license (right?)

* The 45 mile tandem bike ride with Hubby. Sure I rode 50 miles in college once at a failed attempt to complete a century race – but not on a tandem! Plus that was 21 years ago and isn’t it more fun to talk about things that happened this century?

* A 2 mile run with very few (honestly, just a handful) of walking breaks. And I have the sore quads to prove it. My body reminds me of this every time I leave my house and walk down three flights of stairs (ouch).

* Drumroll please…I swam in San Francisco Bay!

If you’re thinking, “isn’t that rather cold and a mite dangerous?” you would be half right. It is definitely cold (55 degrees) and while there are quite a few folks who just go right on in with a regular swim suit, there are others who opt for the warmth of a wet suit. I am definitely of the wet suit variety.

Morgan Filler, hugely accomplished marathon swimmer and all around nice person, took on the project of coaching me to be comfortable swimming in open water and Thursday was our first meeting. It was on her recommendation that I rented a wet suit the day before. Let’s see, how did she put it? “If you aren’t used to the cold, then your swim time will be a lot shorter and it will be a bit more of a challenge.” Methinks Morgan tends to understate things when it come to the water. She’s part seal, I’m sure of it.

So off I go to rent a wet suit. Now I’m the first one to ask for help if I need it, but salesperson was kind of busy so when she handed me the suit and told me to try it on I did just that. Did you ever see the Friends episode where Ross is wearing leather pants? Well, that was me; struggling to pull the suit up and determined to make it work (it was the largest women’s size and I’ll be darned if I was going to try on a man’s suit).

Hubby called to me from outside the dressing room–probably worried that so much time had gone by. So out I came. I admitted to having some trouble. “Well,” said the sales woman without batting an eye, “It goes the other way.” Other way? Backwards? Upside Down? What? “Inside out,” she said with the barest hint of a smile. Oh dear.

I’m happy to report that the next morning, I put the wet suit on like an old pro. Or at least with less drama. Here’s some photographic evidence courtesy of my extremely talented Hubby. To see more of Hubby’s amazing work, right click on the photo below to open his Flickr site in a new tab.

More later on the amazing swim experience…


  1. Yeah for you. I applaud your bravery. I had a similiar experience with getting into a wet suit to go white water rafting in college (some 20 years ago) and still shudder at the thought of trying it again. I have never been a runner but I am inspired by your story and one I read in Figure magazine about plus size athletics. I am thinking about taking on the Summer Runs at the NY state parks -wish me luck.

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