do you think they’ll let me wear my water wings … ?

Just about two years ago, now, I incorporated swimming into my fitness "regime." The athletic director at school very kindly started a faculty swimming group and patiently coached a number of us in the art of swimming for fitness.  I grew up on an island and spent tons of time in the water (including paddling Hawaiian outrigger canoes for over ten years) and I'd say that I was a "good" swimmer, but swimming recreationally in order to survive is VERY different than swimming to try to become a relatively fit middle aged human being. 

Last summer, I joined a great master's swimming group at the YMCA and had a wonderful time. (There is something surprisingly motivating about having 60 year old women kick your ass lap after lap and  practice after practice, but that's a whole other blog entry).  Many of the swimmers there participated in a series of open ocean swims that ranged from a mile to 2.4 miles in length. I REALLY want to do one of these races, but to tell you the truth, doing one scares the hell out of me.  I've participated in 45 mile long open ocean canoe races in 4-6 foot surf where we'd jump into the water from an escort boat and hop into the moving canoe before, but attempting to swim a mile in the ocean just seems like a totally different animal … 

Everyone in the master's group has encouraged me to participate in the race and they are all convinced that I could easily finish it, but I keep thinking, "OMG, what if I'm half-way through and decide that it is too far?"  If you're running or biking, no problem, you pull off the course, hop into the nearest 7-11, buy a Big Gulp (Caffeine free Diet Pepsi of course …) and call it a day.  If you're freaking swimming and you get tired … you DROWN!!! I can even imagine the headline in the local paper, "Chunky middle-aged swimmer tragically drowns during ocean race … Lifegaurds perplexed as to why someone in such poor physical condition would even attempt to complete the 1 mile long course … see page B-1."

If only … If they'd just let me swim the course with a mask, snorkel, fins, and water wings, I think that I'd kick some butt.  For now, though, I've decided to go out and watch the first one of the 4 race series and go from there.    After all, drowning would probably be pretty counter productive to the achievement of my fitness goals overall …

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One thought on “do you think they’ll let me wear my water wings … ?

  1. OMG! You need to shut up! Seriously! I have seen you swim and you could totally do a mile in the open ocean no problem. I'm with the ladies! And Masters Swimming Group! Hello! Is that NOT a sign? um and please speak the truth in your posts because this – "Chunky middle-aged swimmer" – is NOT true! But i know what you mean. Taking the ocean and all it's currents is a whole other beast. And yeah, you can't drown..though an office to myself would be nice….ha!I know you can do it!

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