Sunday, January 17, 2010

fear not


We survived our first ocean swim! While I despised these swims last year, I decided to totally change my attitude and embrace and learn to love the open water ocean swims. It is not the open water thing, because I love getting into a lake or other body of water without the threat of death by large animals. I used to love ocean swimming and would get in all the time and swim. Then I got old. Not sure what it is about getting old that brings on strange anxieties. I struggle with heights, and claustrophobia big time. I try to face those fears often and the heights thing is getting better. The claustrophobia thing...not so much. I take stairs whenever I can. My Dr thought I was nuts when I went to see him for severe chest cough/asthma and even though they were on the top floor I still took the stairs. The only time I have needed medication was when I went in for an MRI and I stand by that decision, but think that meditation and deep breathing can pretty much get me through the rest. Although the meds made it really fun, I mean what isn't fun about falling asleep in your plate of pasta.....at a restaurant...
Anyways I have digressed. Back to my fear of ocean swimming. Yes I used to pick triathlons that I knew were not in the ocean and that is pretty limiting, especially out here in California. I decided that mentoring this year would be the perfect thing so change my frame of mind. Now I am the one others are looking to when they are panicing. I have to lead by example. I can honestly say today was the most fun I have had in the open water in a very long time. I have not been on a tri team that is so supportive. I had to give one of my fellow mentors a heads up that I might need him while we were showing the example of how to break through the surf and then come back in riding the waves. I hadn't been in the water and it was cold. While it was still warmer than the water at my first tri, it was still 58 degrees. So apparently with this asthma thing I got going on it gets way worse in cold water. I felt that right away but remained calm and by the time I went in for the second time I was feeling more comfortable.

We practices about 3-4 times jumping dolphin style out to the waves and then diving under the waves and then out about a hundred yards. One of our coaches was on a kayak so we swam around him and then back. I just hung with my swim buddies and we made it back into shore. We then practices riding waves and I was a pro. I felt like I was a kid again...it was awesome. Another awesome thing was doing this with Bri. He did so well, its not easy doing this. He has a very large fear of open water but you never would have noticed this today. He had his first experience doing this in a wetsuit which is challenging at first because it is so constricting so it makes you feel like you can't breathe, plus the cold water equals a major panic attack. But he got through it and swam right past me! Even after we were done he wanted to go back out for more. Such a Stanimal! At one point he looked at me and said "you would be so proud of me" and right then I knew what he meant. He had his first pee in his wetsuit! Popped that cherry! AHHHH it feels so good!!!

We got out of the water and poured some hot water on us and it felt sooooooo good. Amazingly enough my hair was still dry. I wore two swim caps to keep my head warm and even though I felt like I was losing blood to my brain cause it was so tight, it was definately nice not having a wet head when we were done!!

Very happy to know that the water in Hawaii will be at least 20 degrees warmer than today. I can hardly wait!!!

In other race news I signed up for the San Diego rock n roll half. Its the first year they are doing a half. I also signed up for the San Diego International Triathlon. Both are in June which are the only two weekends that I am not travelling for weddings.


4 comments:

kristen said...

Open water swims already?! damn you californians! you can suck it! :)

Jody said...

take a ride down the coast girlie!

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