>> Saturday, June 26, 2010
Yesterday morning, Pharmie, Matt, and I hit Square Lake. Matt’s working up his distance in the pool to be ready for this first triathlon this summer!! And we were about to treat him to his first open water experience!
We gave him all the pointers we could. We kept telling him about how we used to “freak out” during our first open water swims of the year to get him ready for a possible freak out. We kept telling him how swimming in a pool is very different than watching the sand disappear under you into black nothingness.
We reminded him to stay calm, and that we’d meet him at the first buoy. Pharmie and I watched him take off (much like proud parents must watch their child roll away on a bike for the first time) and commented that his form was pretty good! He was keeping his movements easy and controlled. Good. He was doing just fine!
We started swimming and met him at the first buoy. Matt got there with a mix of freestyle, side-stroke, and back-stroke. His first remarks once he popped out of the water were something like, “Shit, when the ground disappears under you... I mean... that’s just not stuff you can be ready for!” He understood our warnings pre-swim, but, like he said, you just CAN’T be ready for that. This is my 5th year of triathlon, and it’s only been the last 2 years that I HAVEN’T had a mini-freak-out when hitting open water for the first time.
We got out to the second buoy, chatted for a moment, and swam straight back in. I swam a bit quicker on the way back and grabbed my camera to get a shot of Matt and Pharmie coming in:
Pharmie’s arm in the center, Matt’s head to the right
Chatting in the shallows
After the swim, Pharmie and Matt changed, and they planned on riding their bikes home. Here’s Pharmie getting sunscreened:
I sort of want to ask “does anyone have any good OWS stories for Matt of when they were newbies?” But really, I want to hear your early OWS stories! Do you remember watching the sand disappear and wanting to turn back? Do you remember brushing up against some dead creature face-first? Do you remember those irrational fears of killer beasts coming out of the depths after you? (I still have that one. Really. So why did I watch Jaws the night before the 2008 St. Croix Valley Sprint Tri? Am I STUPID?!?)
So give us your best OWS incident / story / moment! Thanks everyone!