Saturday morning John and I did our first ever open water swim race. I will freely admit that doing a 1.2 mile swim, at a time of day I’m usually in bed, was something I was having a hard time looking forward to. But, I must say, the whole experience turned out to be much less hellacious than I feared.
The terrible-ish parts were as I suspected. You see a person, like myself, who had followed a nice straight line on the bottom of a pool for 14 years when set loose in a lake with the sun shining in her eyes as she attempted to watch for random boats and buoys to guide her, (All of which, I might add, were not conveniently located on the bottom of the lake.) might not completely enjoy that aspect of the race. But, other than that minor annoyance, the race, as well as our two weeks of “training,” was lots of fun and reminded me just how much I love to swim.
It also reminded me how difficult it is to get any meaningful time in the water with three young kids and a husband on second shift. John and I made it into the water to train every day for the two weeks prior to the race – and did nothing else. This week when I’m playing catch up with the household chores I guess I’ll just have to look at my shiny third place medal to remind myself that it was worth it!
Saturday morning after it was all over John and I were rehashing the race on the drive back home and I realized something. I realized that the best part, wasn’t the race, or the training, our time away from the kids together, our cheering section or even the shiny medal. It was that our short open water racing stint literally pointed out that John’s got my left. We swam together, training and racing, John on my left. We worked well together that way. I sighted and attempted to keep us going straight. We used each other for motivation and pacing. I never had to worry about what was happening on his side- I knew he had my left.
If that sounds insignificant to you, picture racing in semi-murky water, others swimming around you, attempting to find those rotten buoys all with limited visibility. I can breath to both my right and my left but, lacking that good ‘ole bottom of the pool line, if I would like to swim a straight line – I breath to my right. This means that I have no idea what’s happening off to the left. But with John cruising next to me it was all good.
Nobody ran into me from the left, nobody attempted to draft off that side of me, nobody made a move to pass without me noticing, and I didn’t spare a seconds thought on any of it.
I knew John was there, he had my left.
He always does.
I had his right.
I always do.
For those of you who are Facebooking members of society pictures of the race can be found on Rock Lake Activity Center’s page.