Open Water Swimming

Me. I will be swimming in the ocean tomorrow morning.

I don't know if I've told you before but I have never really been a great swimmer. I have always wanted to be but I just have a lot of fears of the water that make it hard for me. Some of my fears are rational and some are not.

I have been swimming for over a year now. I can proudly say that I do not look or feel like a drowning cat anymore. The pool has become a close friend of mine. I love the feel of my body gliding through the water. I really enjoy pushing my distance and trying new swim drills. I have been working hard at learning flip turns because they are cool. And I especially love how I feel when I finish.

One of my goals has been to complete a triathlon. With triathlons comes open water swimming. I have talked myself out of this goal several times and then talked myself back into it. I am terrified of open water swimming. I don't think this is uncommon but I need to get at least comfortable with open water if I am going to sign up for Pacific Coast Triathlon.

I really want to sign up for this triathlon. I will have a good support/ training group since most of my friends will be competing in that race. I hear that it's a great first. I cannot logically sign up for this triathlon until I get into the ocean and see if I can swim without hyperventilating. Okay maybe I won't hyperventilate but maybe I will. Who knows?

I went to the beach yesterday and watched people joyously play in the water, swim out far from shore, paddle board, surf and what not. All of them seemed to be having a wonderful time and didn't seem worried or scared in the least bit.

So what am I scared of? I am just going to put it all out there, get it out of my head and then move forward and not think about it again.

  • Sharks--I'm told that you are more likely to get hit by lightning before this happens. But I can't stop thinking that I'm invading their home. I can't out swim them!!
  • Dolphins, otters, seals--Not cute. Okay, cute from afar but not near me when I'm in the water and especially not touching me in anyway.
  • Really deep water-- The water is deep and I won't be able to touch if I panic. I know I can float on my back but I am wondering how I will feel about it all.
  • What am I going to be looking at?--I hear it's just dark. I have heard that you just close your eyes and swim. I may just close my eyes.
  • Being far from shore--What if I can't get back? This won't happen I know because I have friends that will be there with me and they will help me.
  • Panic--What if I freak out and can't calm myself?
Now the good parts of getting out there in the open water:
  • Conquering this fear of mine. Priceless.
  • Checking open water swimming off my imaginary bucket list. 
  • Doing something I never ever thought I would do.
  • Proving to myself that I am strong enough to do this.
  • Enjoying the ocean in a new way.
  • Wetsuits are like a superhero suit I may feel like a superhero in it. 
  • Signing up for this triathlon when I return from the swim.
  • I have great friends and they will take care of me because they are awesome.

Ahh see I'm feeling better already just getting my fears out there. I refuse to let my fears hold me back. I am going to do this!!

If you would please say a little prayer for me in the morning because I will be out there in the surf. I will keep you updated on twitter/ fb before and after the swim.

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Are you an open water swimmer? Is ocean swimming something you would ever do? Any tips?


Christina said...

A tri has always been on my bucket list too. I've never thought about the open water swim portion as you have. I'm a great swimmer, so I always just figured the day I started training, swimming would be the least of my worries. Now that you mention how far out you are, and how deep and dark it is, and the critters that are out there, you're starting to make me a tad fearful too! Geez! I'd love to hear how your swim went today, and how you work towards overcoming your fear.

Simply Fit Mama said...

Christina- First off don't fear all my ramblings. I'm an over-thinker. 99.9% of everything I fear never comes true. THANKFULLY! I will make sure to post about the swim tomorrow. I am nervous and a little scared but feel much better now that I got it all out there. I don't want to think any negative thoughts tomorrow. You will do great in a tri!!

Ang @ Sparkles and Bugs said...

A triathlon would be so fun! I have the same fears as you :) Yay you for facing your fears! Thanks for linking up to "fitness friday." I really enjoy your blog


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