Saturday, June 4, 2011

I Did It!

It finally came... the dreaded Oneida Shores Open Water Swim day! If you read my post on Thursday (Not Ready At All), you know I wasn't really feeling ready for it, but I sucked it up and figured, if anything, it would be an "experience". Following my friend Katy's ( and my cousin's advice, I ate pasta and bananas last night, and went to bed early. Of course, this is the night that A picks to wake up at 3:00 am and then 5:00 am, but SleepyPapa was nice enough to take care of him so I could go back to sleep faster.
At 6:15am, the alarm went off, I got ready, SleepyPapa got ready, and we transferred A to the car, still in his PJ's and still asleep. Everything went very smoothly.
When we got there and I saw the lake, I felt pretty pumped. Isn't this a gorgeous sight?
Then it was time to put on the wetsuit. Isn't it hot?
A woke up in a good mood and had a chance to throw some pebbles in the water before the swim started. He wanted to go swimming too, ("moi, piscine"... translation "me, pool") but that was not an option.

One last hug before the start...

my cheering squad!
As I went into the water, I told myself my only goal was to not be the last one. I know, it's not much of a goal, but I'm not much of an athlete either, so that was sufficient for me. At the start, everybody was going with freestyle and I succumbed to the peer pressure and started out that way too, even though I am much better at breast stroke. But very quickly, I realized that I was not going to be able to keep it up, I was almost out of breath. So I switched to breast stroke and got into a pace I felt was fast enough but still sustainable. I took a few looks back to make sure there were people behind me (I may not be an athlete, but I'm still competitive) and just kept going. It was really neat to see that booey become closer and closer, then make the turn, and head back to shore. I was happy to see that even though I was mainly doing breaststroke, I was able to keep up with other swimmers who were freestyling.

end of the race look: not-so-hot...

In the end, I finished my 800 meter in 20:31, and I reached my goal... I wasn't the last one, I was 24th out of 46 (men and women combined). I'm pretty happy with that.

 To top it all off, I won a medal!

 Well that's kind of a joke because I came in first in my age group .... but I was the only one in my age group. Nevertheless, I was happy to have a medal to take home. I set out to try this, I trained (or tried to), and I did it! To me, that's what the medal symbolizes, me trying something new, and completing the goal I set for myself. This was a great event, and it benefited the YMCA's Partner With Youth Campaign, in particular Y-Kids Inc., which supports children with special needs.
Now, all I need to do is figure out what other open water swim I can register for!

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