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.
I’m looking forward to following your blog, I starting blogging about my quest to return to the Ironman Triathlon after a 25 year absence. I was in Penticton, B.C on August 29 th 1987. I finished the race in 13:56. Last August I swam the park to park swim from Mathews Beach in Seattle to Denny Park in Kirkland. It was my first open water swim since 87. It got me fired up to get back in to long distance open water swimming. Happy swimming!
I’m glad to have a follower. I took a look at your blog and am looking forward to following your progress towards Iron Man take 2! Happy training!
Congrats on the blog. Your site looks awesome – nice and clean. Looking forward to following you.
Thanks Tom! Jene says that you said that you’re “no Caitlin Rosen.” I think that’s quite funny. I wish more people announced that they are not me on a daily basis.
I’m right this moment listening to the ocean waves outside on the sand, and had a three year old on my shoulders just hours ago in them. I’m awfully interested in things that you’re saying here. my nephew is learning how to swim, and I’m learning that I am meant to do it. Like for real, with the goggles on, not just playing. The water here is rough but warm and swimmable.
It sounds amazing. Where are you?
I love it. I will read it faithfully, and you are helping me to kickstart Parasites and Other Adventures again….
You should! You have such an adorable new parasite!
Melaque, Jalisco, Mexico