Posted by: forgingahead | May 23, 2008

Swimming in the Sea

I’m here to report that I’m definitely making progress on getting comfortable in the open water. I had a fantastic swim in the Sea of Cortez yesterday with Hubby and Coach Allison. We’re south of the border staying at David and Allison’s chez paradise (I know, there’s a proper Spanish way of saying that, but I’ve misplaced my Spanish dictionary…really I’m just too lazy to look it up).

The morning dawned windy and the sea was choppy. Whitecaps even. Allison and I were in full zen yoga mode on the patio overlooking the sunrise, the sea, the pelicans when Hubby returned from his sunrise photo session and said he was off for a swim. Well we weren’t about to be left out of the fun, so on went swimsuits, goggles, caps and sand shoes.

Even though the water was choppy, it was warm. Ah, so different from San Francisco bay. Temperate, not too cold, not too hot. Just right. Very Goldilocks and the three bears. Our plan was to swim a ways, turn around, swim back.

Here’s another lovely photo by Hubby so you can see where we went in. That spit of land on the left side across the way is roughly the direction we were headed. And I just want to be clear that the water was not this calm yesterday – in case you think I was hallucinating.

If you’d like to see a bigger view of this photo, click here.

So, what was different from this swim vs. the last time I was in this same sea? Well, I have confidence and knowledge. Morgan helped me find the joy in being in the open water. Thanks to her I remembered to look around, get my bearings, feel the swell of the waves and the push of the tide. And I was able to integrate looking at where I was going without being a total spaz. Personally, that was a huge accomplishment. I have to say it helps to be able to see where you’re going in the open water.

The other thing that helped was cloudy water. I know, that sounds silly. But I couldn’t see the bottom, and the fishies and somehow not being able to see is easier for me. The water was cloudy due to the storm activity stirring things up. And it’s supposed to get quite calm again so if things clear up I’ll let you know how it goes.

Plus, I LOVE swimming with other people. Morgan said don’t swim alone and she’s right. It’s safer to have others around. Though Hubby was really feeling it and off he went ahead of us. And the swells were so big I lost sight of him several times. He’s clearly going to be leaving me and Allison in the dust during the triathlon 🙂

We swam for about 40 minutes and it felt great. I’m starting to understand Morgan’s attraction to the open water where you can just go and go and go. It’s both peaceful and invigorating.

The shore does present a challenge that hadn’t occurred to me…waves. Going in I flipped over onto my back and backstroked like a mad dog past the surf. That seemed to work well. Coming in is a little trickier. No fun getting knocked down onto all fours while trying to exit gracefully. Something else to ask Morgan next time…

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