I learned to swim as a wee one from my dad, who didn’t really swim himself, but was tall enough and encouraging enough to send me back and forth to the side of a pool. There were also the terrifyingly wonderful trips on his shoulders out into crashing ocean surf, which instilled in me a fear and respect for the rising and falling, tempestuous beast, on whom he repeatedly admonished us kids to never, ever turn our backs. How could I, a small child with a giant dad, not also fall in love with this even more massive ocean, into which he so fearlessly ventured? The affair began with the Pacific Ocean, whose ill-tempered, icy waters off of Washington’s coast I have known since infanthood; by the time I turned eight, our bond was solidified: I had explored her warm, colorful reefs and pools off Fiji and Hawaii. What could be better?
Beginning at age seven, I spent a few years swimming competitively on a local Seattle swim team. I learned the four strokes and how to swim laps, how to do a flip turn, and dive from a block. To this day I’m not sure why I stopped. I suppose as a ten year old, “I don’t feel like swimming so much,” was reason enough. Aside from the occasional lap swimming for pleasure, and a few years of SCUBA obsession as a teenager, I didn’t really swim regularly again until college, at which point I also became a lifeguard and swim instructor. Although an exhausting job, I happily taught swim lessons in Seattle for Safe N Sound Swim School, and then in Manhattan for Take Me To The Water when I first moved to New York in 2003. For the past 6+ years I have been working on dry land as an educator at a small Quaker school for students with Learning Disabilities in Brooklyn.
In late 2009 I joined the Brooklyn Triathlon Club, and began swimming with a local Masters program. Masters quickly became my favorite part of training for triathlons. After a season of Sprint and Olympic distance tris, I realized that my real love was still swimming, and a triathlete who is a proficient swimmer is really wasting her time if she spends too much of it training for the swim. So in January of 2011 I signed up for a 10-mile lake swim in Vermont in July, and a long distance open water swim training program in Malta in April. Then I began reading, planning, training, training, training and now blogging! I am learning so much through this process, and as it is the kind of stuff that any new open water swimmer has to learn, I figured it would be nice to share. I hope you enjoy!
Fully chlorinated and happier for it,
P.S. While my 1st love will always be the Pacific, now that I am living and working in New York, I am learning to enjoy the even chillier Hudson and East Rivers, Brighton Beach and Atlantic Ocean.