Sunday, August 1, 2010

Facing my Fears

Today I faced my fears....or at least one of them. I looked Lake Windermere, the open, green water directly in the face and swam into its mossy waters.

The Tremont Triathlon Team was holding an open water swim at Lake Windermere....actually, they have been since the beginning of summer...every Wednesday & Sunday nights, but I rarely make it to group workouts. Have I mentioned that I'm commitment phobic? Well, with the Lakeland Bi-Tri Classic coming up this weekend, I decided I needed to spend some time in the open water. Otherwise, it will be another abysmal race report just like last year. OK, maybe it will still be the same, but at least if I practiced in the open water, I'd be somewhat prepared.

Because of my less than stellar swimming skills, I asked my dear hubby (aka Camo Man) to bring out our canoe and to paddle along the route so that I would have a escape hatch if I panicked. I also brought along Sunshine to practice in the open water. She's still on the fence about doing the youth triathlon this weekend. I knew she'd be able to swim the distance if she could get past the mental side of swimming in murky, brownish-green water. I, on the other hand, needed to battle my demons on both sides....mental (yes, I'm totally mental) and physical.

Our group consisted of 12 swimmers. Sunshine and I waited until most of them had started and then took off. The swim is a triangle around Lake Windermere which is approximately 440 yards long. (The swim portion of the Lakeland Bi-Tri Classic is 500 yards.) As we started on the first portion of the swim, I received my first swift kick to the my own daughter! I guess I deserved it because I keep pushing her to do this tri.  Between spotting the buoys, watching Sunshine and trying to convince myself that I was NOT going to drown, my first escapade back in the water was pretty much miserable. My freestyle was pretty decent. I used the breaststroke or side stroke to spot the buoy - or to catch my breath as I talked myself through my mental barriers - and I would freestyle again. I have to admit that I did flip over to my back one time. I don't know why.....just a comfort zone I suppose.

The sun was a little too bright on the first leg of the triangle
I finally finished my lap. I don't know how long it took, but it wasn't exactly speedy. I stood around with the other T3 members for a while debating what to do. Should I swim another lap? Would I be able to survive? Sunshine said she wasn't ready to do another lap. She was a little freaked out about the swim. We swam to the ropes and back two or three times....and then.....I decided to go for round 2. I mean heck! I made it out there. I might as well take advantage of the time in the water. One lap was just not enough!

My 2nd lap was a lot better. I free-styled most of the triangle with only a little bit of breaststroke while I was spotting. I rested again....and took a 3rd lap.

I still cannot say that I am speedy. I can say, however, that I am trying. I am working on my endurance. I will work on my speed over the winter. I feel a little bit proud of my workout today. I feel like I accomplished something. I faced the murky, green monster and defeated him soundly.

What is your fear or challenge?


  1. You are amazing Carla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am terrified of that open water swim...what scares me most though is failure, it drives me!

  2. I agree. I didn't list my other fears, but failure is definitely one of them!