Its been a while since i have written a little post. Mainly because i have been so super busy gearing up for events this past August.
In 2019 i started swimming seriously and i had one goal in mind… i had finished 2 triathlons, and 2 open water swims and decided i wanted to keep going.. but i really didn’t know where to go and how to start. When the pandemic hit, that closed our pools, and luckily it was only for a few months, until i was able to book lanes and go swimming.
Even though i could only get 40mins in the pool, it was stressful at times to try and build distance, however i kept moving forward.
In 2021, i was introduced to Tri Balance and attended a swim camp, and this was the beginning of some serious swimming!
I thought i could swim,,,, well i could, but i wasn’t graceful, i flopped around like a fish out of water. I had a powerful kick, that came with big waves and splashes, i am sure i pissed off some some of the people around me in the pool….. sorry!
But that was not all.. my head was always out of the water, when i came up for a breath and the list goes on ! Some said i swam well, well when i look back, yes, i was a strong swimmer, but i was not refined.
After swim camp, i decided to train under Teresa Seibel for a year. What a great experience and kept me on track. Moving in the right direction.
The method is Total Immersion, which is a swim technique that teaches you balance, form and effortless swimming. I learned swimming doesn’t have to be hard, if you can master the form, you will glide faster through the water. Truly effortless!
After all this time, do i have a perfect stroke every single time .. no, but to master a new skill, you need to learn to accept to sit on a plateau and keep moving forward until it clicks ! This is truly the key mastery.
My first long event, The Skaha Ultra Swim. A race that has been around many years and was known for being the longest swim in Canada. Over the years, more races have come to light. This is a sanctioned race.
The Skaha Ultra Swim is a 11.8km ok, more like 12km swim from Penticton, BC to Okanagan Falls, BC. Swimming an entire length of a lake, unimaginable for some. This race has specific time cut offs, and of course if you don’t meet those, the pontoon boat will come and pull you out !
The waters were super warm, even though it is recommended to wear a wetsuit, I probably shouldn’t have bothered. I really did not need one.
After 5 hours. I finally met the end of the lake. This swim is symbolic to me, because i had spent over 40 years playing on the beach as a child.
Finishing was exciting and a big sense of accomplishment
But my story doesn’t end here… 2 weeks later, i travelled to Christina Lake, BC to participate in The Big Effort Swim. On August 20, 2022
This was a fundraiser for various charities, local and Canadian wide. When i registered i had thought, well i knew i could swim 12km, so no problem, but could i go 50% more? That was the real question.
The swim had many options and being no pressure. There was a 750m, 4km, 18km and 36km. I decided i would go the 18km, if i only made it to 10 or 12km i was good with that. The big effort swim committee supported my efforts no matter how far i would get, no pressure, no judgment… just do the best you can do.
The swim set out at 4 am… it was dark, and the lake was warm. Again, i did not not need a wetsuit… Swimming in pitch black was ok, a bit creepy at times as you touch things floating in the late and have no clue, what i had just touched! However taking away the daylight, took away most of my sensory. The first 2 hours in the dark, i have no recollection of the time spent swimming, i could have been sleeping for all i knew.
The swim was hard, we had wind, chop,, more wind, more chop.. massive wakes, and then there was pollen on the lake.
At one point, i stopped and said to my support boat, my throat is closing up, and i couldn’t breath … so he flagged down another support boat and sent a wave-runner off to find some allergy meds, and luckily that worked and i was able to continue.
Towards the end, i was just going km by km… i was getting tired and finally after 11 hours, i reached the end of the lake!
I was so relieved i reached the end… and i was overwhelmed by the amount of support. Not only did i have a kayaker to support me through the whole distance, there were many pontoons out supporting each swimmer. There was only 5 of us on the 18km and 3 on the 36km.
There were also members of the community out watching and cheering us on.
After this, people ask, are you going to do it again? Well i don’t really know. I will continue to swim, and i will focusing on my new position as apprentice coach under Teresa!