Creating a Cycling Family

My First Open Water Swim

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Two week’s ago I did my first open water swim. Now, I have heard a lot of stories from a lot of people about how scary their first open water swim was. There was a lot of freaking out, gasping and general panic in the stories I was told. Great, here this goes. Well whatever I’ve got to do it, I’m got to race in 2 weeks.


John and I went out to the Duck Bill Thrill and watched the race. This was a good opportunity to get a grasp on what I was getting into. As I was watching the swim, I felt pretty confident. “I can do this,” I was thinking. So after an hour we slipped on our wetsuits and headed down to the water away from the race.


It was SO COLD! I put my feet in the water, and I was sure they would fall off. Oh well there is no going back now. John suggested that I put my face in the water and blow bubbles. That was a great idea, because when I put my face in the water I really wanted to panic. It was freezing and I couldn’t breath. I felt like I was going to drown standing on the side of the lake, and blowing bubbles was the only thing that saved me.


Blowing bubbles allowed me to concentrate on something and it kept my lungs moving. I started to relax and began to swim. The hardest part of the whole open water swim is relaxing. There are so many new senses and experiences introduced to you all at once. You just want to freak out, and the most important thing is to not freak out. It’s difficult to get over mentally, but once you realize that you are ok and that the wetsuit will not let you drown, it’s easy. You have to remember that yes I can swim, I am going to do this and I’m going to do great.


Feeling really good after this first introduction to the open water swim, I decided to join John for the Multisport Advantage group swim the following Friday. I was nervous driving out there and a little panicky when I first got in the water, but after 100 meters I just loved it. Swimming in the lake is super fun! There is so much more to think about than in the pool.  I had a distance I could see rather than a lap counter. The swim was just awesome.


I love swimming right now. It’s super fun to continually challenge myself and push beyond what I think I can do. We are all a lot tougher than we think we are. If you just relax and accept that you are going to do this, you will. People have amazing strength’s physically that they just mentally need to allow themselves to use. Relax, have fun, and push yourself to see where you really can go.


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