open swim: 2 loops/2400 yards
bike to lake nokomis and back: 7 miles
Some Thoughts on Cross-training with Best’s Disease
Biking to the lake was difficult. A little scary when other bikers approached me, especially when they were biking too fast. My depth perception is pretty bad and I can’t always judge the distance between me and the approaching bikers. Hard to focus because of my macular dystrophy. Had to decide between looking forward and paying attention to where I was going or looking down to make sure that there weren’t any big cracks or debris on the path. Couldn’t do both because my eyes couldn’t focus on both or because my brain couldn’t handle all the jumbled signals it was receiving from my scrambled eyes or for some other reason that I don’t quite understand. I chose to look ahead. Luckily there wasn’t anything on the path. As I got used to the unsettling feeling of not quite seeing everything and just trusting that I was seeing enough, it got easier.
Successfully made it to the lake for open swim. A beautiful sunny morning. It’s always harder to swim across the lake in the morning. The sun is in my eyes as I swim to the smaller beach, making it difficult to see the big orange triangles out on the lake, marking the path. I’m sure it’s hard for anyone, but sunny days really mess with my already messed up macula. It’s also difficult to see because there are fewer landmarks to guide me. No big, sandy beach with the yellow boats on the one side that I track in my peripheral vision to ensure that I don’t stray too far to the right. No big beach house with the roof that you can see across the lake, even when you can’t see anything else. No white canopy. No tall light pole. On Sunday mornings, during my first trip across the lake, I’m usually swimming blind. Just trusting that my stroke is straight. It almost always is. And, now that I’ve been swimming across the lake for four years, I’m used to the feeling of swimming blind. It doesn’t make me panic or stop swimming. By the second loop, if I do one, I’ve figured out where the triangles are and worry even less about seeing them.