july 19/SWIM

3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
90 degrees
5:30 pm

Another windy, choppy open swim night. It wasn’t too bad swimming from the big beach to the little beach, just some swells from behind. Occasionally, the swells made it difficult to do full strokes. Rounding the far orange buoy was difficult. Big (at least, big for Lake Nokomis) waves straight into my face. The next loop I remembered to breathe to my left to avoid them.

10 Things I Remember

  1. a few military planes flying above the lake
  2. on the way back to the big beach on the first loop: voices somewhere nearby. I kept trying to figure out what they were. Finally: 2 people in a canoe, way too close to open water swimmers. When I told them they were in the swimming area, one of them said, “we’re trying to get out of here, but this wind is kicking our butt!”
  3. lots of bits of vegetation floating in the water — I had to spit some of it out, other bits of it made it under my suit. I noticed them later, when I took a shower. A few vines wrapped around my arms
  4. with all the waves, lots of swimmers were doing breaststroke or treading water, a few seemed to be almost clinging to the big buoys
  5. I had no problem staying on course. My biggest problem: a nose plug that kept shifting and goggles that kept leaking. I had to stop a few times to adjust them
  6. when the water wasn’t too choppy, I breathed every 5. When it was choppy, every 3 or 4
  7. didn’t see or hear any birds — no seagulls or ducks, in particular
  8. the waves made it difficult to see anything but water in front of you. Sometimes the slight swells looked like someone was right ahead of me — a phantom swimmer?
  9. exiting the water and looking back from the shore, the water looked almost calm to me. You’d never know how choppy it was in there!
  10. I had something else to write, but somehow I got distracted and lost it again. Maybe I’ll remember and come back and add it in here?

Even though it was choppy, another great swim. As always, I felt strong and happy and confident.

Found this beautiful poem the other day by the wonderful Marie Howe:

The Moment/ Marie Howe

Oh, the coming-out-of-nowhere moment

when, nothing


no what-have-I-to-do-today-list

maybe half a moment

the rush of traffic stops.

The whir of I should be, I should be, I should be

slows to silence,

the white cotton curtains hanging still.