Sunday, December 9, 2007

Swimming sucks -- unless you're a swimmer

Now that’s an understatement. I have a bunch of friends that are born, natural fish. Chrissy Bohensky, Donna Weiser, Donna Mummert, Katie Raezer, and Lynne Fickes. Ahh…the Fickes. The one that beats all the guys out of the lake usually, the 1st or 2nd one out of the water. Someone joked “she started swimming when she was about 2!” The girl can swim like no one I’ve ever known. But all of them seem very natural at it, and enjoy it. Katie swam some channel somewhere exotic – the Caribbean I think? It was like 5 miles from one island to another. Dang! 25 yards at a time is my limit, and then I need to take a break. Maybe its because while my fish-like friends were getting lessons and swimming competitively as kids in those urban schools and towns that had pools, my jumping in the local farm pond and puppy paddling for dear life didn't quite give me enough natural "form."

That was my quest for today, this rainy, icy, cold, couldn’t really do anything outside day since we really don’t have any snow and there really isn’t any decent snow within any normal driving distance. I decided to try a swim after about a two-year hiatus.

The hiatus was a result of a piss-poor swim in Lake Tahoe two years ago. Mostly due to my inexperience and the simple fact I really suck at swimming. I’m not a bilateral breather; thus, when the waves are hitting you in the face on the only side you breath from while swimming, you ain’t going to make it too far, now are you? Lake Tahoe was hungry that day, and it got me and about 20 other drowning rats. 3-foot swells in 55-degree waters coupled with poor swim-form had several of us screaming for the rescue boats. I struggled through one more Xterra after that, but pretty much gave it up since then. Lots of excuses…pool is never open, it’s not convenient when it IS open blah, blah, blah. But the bottom line is, I suck at swimming.

So here it is two years later. My budd, Chrissy, is an Xterra queen and she swims incredibly well. So she has a couple Xterras on her schedule in 2008, and there’s one that’s SO close to home in a place I absolutely love to ride, that I think I’m gonna attempt to suck it up one more time and race an Xterra. R.B. Winter is home to the Xterra Trimax held the end of June. And today was a trial run in the pool to see if I might be able to do it again. Maybe, just maybe with a little luck and learning to breath on BOTH sides, I can figure this swim thang out. Chrissy, I think I’ll join you the end of June for the Xterra Trimax. Maybe Rocky Gap too!

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