Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My Sea swim

The mile swim at the Mountain Mill Mall was done in the roughest water I have swim up till now. I could not rotate properly because the waves was just throwing me in different directions. I realised later that the best thing I could do was to try to be as balanced in the water as I can be. In my effort  to be streamlined I just concentrate on reaching far to the front and not to lift my head unneccessary. Once I stop trying to rotate and relaxed, I enjoyed my swim. I sometimes felt like a rag doll in a washing machine. Still it was very exciting.

I finished in 41 minutes 22 seconds according to my friend. The official time for the winner was 26:20 and I think that was Ryk Neethling. He handed over the prizes and did swim with but I am not sure that his time was officially taken. The 10 th person's time was 39:49 and there was 35 people taking part.

This coming Saturday I am swimming my first 3 km. I am trying to increase my distances because my goal is to swim from Robben island to Table View in 2015. The main reason I need to swim quicker is the danger of hypothermia when you are to long in the cold water.

On Sunday 2 February I had my first sea swim in many years. As a child I wanted to swim behind the waves but my parents warned us that the sea is never your pal. You must always be cautios. With Total Immersion I know that I can swim for long distances without getting tired. This was proven with my mile swim. (This swim was in a dam although the wind cause very big waves)

I needed to start swimming in the sea to make sure that a swim from Robben Island can become a reality and will not just be a dream. I know the biggest hurdle would be the cold water. According to the magicseaweed website the temperature was 19 degree Celsius.(I got myself a thermometer now to verify the temperature.) I know Loneswimmer say this is not cold. For me it felt like freezing temperatures. I walked up and down in the shallow water till the pain in my ankles became numb. I carry on like that till I only need to put my head in. I turned on my back and start to float. Then I start swimming.

This was one of the most exhilarating experiences in my life. To be all alone behind the waves swimming in this cold refreshing water. This, after I thought when I entered the water that I will have to shelf my dream swim from Robben Island. I felt the water was just to cold. Over coming this negative reaction and enjoying the water so much reminded me that I some times give up to easily the things I want to do after the slightest resistance that I experience.

This victory helped me to be able to focus more on the things I want to do and to not let things stand in my way. Swimming does not only make me a better swimmer but also let me grow as a person in many ways.

I have followed up on this sea swim with two more sea  swims the last week end and I will try to do this every weekend that we are at Melkbosstrand. (I do art classes twice a month there so I will be able to swim 2-4 times a month in the sea.) I am thinking about the wonderful experience I was missing all these years that I had the opportunity. (We have a holiday home at Melkbosstrand) Without TI swimming where I have the confidence to swim on and on as well as the fitness to do that - the experience would have been far less satisfying, though.

I do suffer after effects. Once I get out of the cold water I am still warm for 5 minutes and then I start shivering and become very cold. A hot cup of tea, a warm water bottle and the sun do the trick to warm me up again, but it take an hour or two before I feel "normal" again. This is a small price to pay for this utter enjoyment.

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