Open Water Swimming Success!

The end of the swim. That's me with my arms up high-fiving and hugging.
Today was a big day for me. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and could not go back to bed. My stomach was turning because I knew in a few short hours I would be on my way to the beach and facing one of my fears. Swimming in the ocean.

I'm not going to lie I was scared so scared and nervous that I had to hug and kiss my kiddos about 10 thousand times before I felt I could leave, they thought I was crazy. When my husband told my son that I was going to swim in the ocean and not the pool this morning he looked at me and said "I hope a shark doesn't get you". So much for not thinking about things that live in the ocean.

I got in the car with my friend and we started to drive she kept telling me that it was all going to be okay and that I could do this. I just started crying. I cried for about five minutes and then felt much better. I was still nervous and scared but I think the cry helped release some stress. (Thanks K for putting up with my teary self.)

We got to the beach and it was beautiful and peaceful. There were already people in the water swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking. The waves were calm and the water was super calm. Which helped me feel much better.

We met up with the rest of our group and got our wetsuits on. Wetsuits are really tricky to get on. Luckily I wasn't the only first timer we had one other person today trying this for the first time. That helped me feel better too.

Going into the water was a little more scary than I thought it would be but lucky for me my friend Tiffany brought her husband out with us. He is a great swimmer and really good at instructing and keeping you calm. He helped us get out past the waves told us to get under them and got us to the first buoy without any major panic attacks.

This was right after a wave.
I tried to go under but hesitated and got hit a little harder than if I would have went under.
Once we got to this buoy I felt good. It was great to feel how buoyant the wetsuit was and that I definitely wasn't going to drown. Plus if I had to I could have probably floated back to shore. We swam all four buoys stopping for breaks in between. It's harder to swim in open water. 25 yards felt like 50. I'm sure I will feel better over time.

I think we look pretty cool coming out of the water!
I had a really hard time putting my face in the water. It was really cold so cold it would take my breath away and I would feel my chest start to constrict. I got better at putting my face in on our way back. Tiffany's husband stayed by my side and every time I came up for a breath I could hear him saying "Good job" "Good" and that helped me feel relaxed. I kept my eyes closed underwater. I tried one time to open them and felt nervous so I shut them quickly.

I ended up swimming all four buoys and back which is about 1/2 mile. My original goal was just to get to the 1st or 2nd buoy.

I am extremely proud of myself! YAY ME!! YAY to our other first timer!! She looked great. And a big thank you to the whole group for their encouragement and support! Thank you Kim for all the awesome pictures!

So if you haven't been swimming in the ocean because you are scared please just give it a try. It was a great experience and I can't wait to go again. If I can get out there so can you!!

Our group minus two, one in the water and one behind the camera. The boy on the end was amazing he did this swim without a wetsuit and I believe he did three or more laps, future Ironman for sure!


HallMom said...

Yaaaay!!!!!!! I so excited for you!!! I saw your post yesterday and prayed for you this morning. So glad the swim went well!! Great job!

Clairejustine said...

Hi,thanks for the comment on my blog, well done you are so brave i could not do this :)
new follower :)

Elaine Forward said...

Brandy I knew you could do it and Weston's comment made me laugh so hard.. have a great day!

turbotiff said...

Brandy, you were awesome swimming in that "big bad ocean.". My hubby says he will take you anytime!

renkath said...

You are my newest hero! Super-hero in a wetsuit (loved your post on that!). I know your fears intimately and am very impressed and inspired! Congratulations.

East Coast-er Momma said...

Good for you facing your fear! I, too, am afraid of the open water. It's so overwhelming...but I'm sure the feeling you had was like none other...
I should build the courage to do that too...

Meercat said...

Woo hoo! You go, girl. I know how big this was for you and am so wowed by your commitment to get out there and "do it afraid."

I could kiss Tiffany's husband (your "open water angel," as you called him...cute) for being there every step of the way and keeping you calm. Reminds me of my rock-climbing instructor in college who helped me fight off a panic attack, push through a tough climb, and reach the top.

...Celebrating with you!!

Simply Fit Mama said...

Thank you EVERYONE for all the kind words of encouragement and for the prayers. It was much scarier in my head than it was in real life. I'm blushing with all this praise. :)

Julie {Angry Julie Monday} said...

Congratulations! That is quite an achievment!

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