So today I was planning on swimming at my gym with my swim coach this morning but he ended up cancelling. Soon after that I got a text from my friend Erin that KSL was planning on filming some GSL swimmers for their coverage of the race this Saturday. I figured it would be fun to be on TV and nice to get a swim in before the big race.
Erin, Kris, Josh, Goody, Chad and few others were there and we waited for the KSL team for about 45 minutes. Finally we got the word they weren’t coming so we went in for a swim. It was windy but in the marina the waves didn’t seem so bad but once we got out into the open water it was another story. Almost immediately I was carried away in high steep waves (some in our group have guessed 4 ft, others 5 ft). Pushing through I made it to the first buoy (the tide was pushing you out so getting to the buoy wasn’t too hard but it was getting back that freaked me out.)
I started to push for the white buoy wanting to keep up with my friends but about half way there I realized I wasn’t going to make it. I actually got kind of scared and believe me it takes a lot to scare me in the water. I’m a pretty tough cookie. Josh saw I was struggling and told me to keep following the waves to the rocky beach and get out. He was very kind to guide me to the shore. (I have the best swim friends!)
There was a scary patch before the turn to the beach loaded with huge rocks. I was nervous about getting banged into the rocks and getting hurt. My friend Erin said she would carry me back to the marina if needs be (I really do have the best swim friends!).
The nice thing is when you are in the heat of the stroke you don’t really feel all the chaos. It’s not until you get up for air that you get scared. I think there is something to that. Remember how Peter was calm on the water until he started to look at the waves and then he felt fearful…Something to think about.
Anyway, I made it through the big rocks injury free (I am super scared of an injury that would screw up all my training!). and then made it to the beach. When I got out of the water I realized how much I had been kicking. I felt like my legs were rubber. It was hard to even half way stand up, especially on those rocks!
Josh went up to the marina and got my flip-flops (reminder to wear better shoes to the lake!). Eventually I found my legs and made it back to the solid ground.
You might think this experience would make me more nervous for Saturday and maybe it does a little bit (it would hard to be much more anxious about it than I already am but that’s just my personality) but there is something about facing your fears and coming out on top that is exhilarating. Seeing nature in all its majesty and power is scary and awe inspiring at the same time.
But, I remember that my friends will be there on Saturday and there will be lots of monitoring to keep things safe. I have trained hard and done the best I can. I survived today and I will make it on Saturday. So, if anything I am more confident than ever before for my race. Maybe Saturday will seem like a piece of cake compared to today! In that sense today could be a real gift.
My twitter after getting out of the water- “So victory today at GSL. I didnt die! Really rough waters. Scary!”
It was a victory and I made it through. 🙂
7 thoughts on “Scary Swim”
Way to push through!
Thanks for the link to My Great Salt Lake. Love all things Utah!
One mental exercise that I go through when being in the water takes me out of my comfort zone (whether it be weather induced, or water quality, or high numbers of other swimmers around me, etc…), is to imagine myself literally as a submarine. Nothing on the outside of my skin can penetrate me in the water and I imagine my body as a water tight object that is immune to all things outside.
When I get a breath, I then put my face right back in and imagine that I’m protected within the solid steel hull, which really is just my mind.
That’s really good advice. Thanks. I’m definitely going to try that. Maybe on Saturday! Have you ever been scared in the water? I never had, even at the beach, until Monday. To feel mentally stronger than nature is a powerful concept.
I really didn’t feel scared until I stopped to look around or take a breath. I think the scariest part is feeling like you are on a swimming treadmill and you can’t progress. The more times I can say ‘I’ve been in water like this before and I made it through, the easier those moments will be’.
I’ve been trying the sighting you told me and it has been helping. Thanks for taking time to teach newer swimmers like me 🙂
I love the idea of a “solid steel hull, which really is just my mind.” That’s the greatest thing about challenging yourself- it’s not just physical but it changes your brain. Gives you courage for all kinds of challenges.