I’ve always loved swimming. When I was 7 I was shocked to get a trophy for “most improved” swimmer. I still have this trophy as a reminder of what you can do.
With swimming in my veins and a love of running, I thought, that maybe one day I could try a triathlon. I mean, I can do it all, swim, ride and run, but all three together? I’m not sure.
While creating a list of health goals for the year. I decided to put Ocean Swim on there.
Just outside of Geelong in the suburb of Mooroonpal, held by one of the swimming clubs was a free 1km ocean swim.
Having always loved swimming I thought I would give this a crack. However, swimming in open water is very different from swimming laps in the pool.
The only way to learn and grow is to put yourself out of your comfort zone, and this ocean swim would do just that.
My main health goal is to get to 65kg, and I know that a challenge like this will help push me to get there.
Training up to the distance in the local pool, I knew I could swim 1km in a pool in roughly 25 minutes. My goal for the open water swim was 27 minutes. Just to allow for variables of ocean water swimming.
On February 25th, instead of lacing up the running shoes, I donned my swimsuit and my bright orange swim cap. We were all given yellow ones in our event pack, but I decided to stick my orange cap.
Standing in the water, I was a bundle of nerves. Thoughts of “I should be here”, and “I have no idea what I’m doing” were running rampant in my mind.
Was there a starter’s gun? No clue, but soon enough we were all off. We ran into the water until it was deep enough to dive in. There were limbs everywhere.
With no black strip to guide me, I had no idea if I was going straight or not.
There was also the undercurrent to deal with.
If I ever decide to do another open water swim, then I need to practice in open water.
I soon found myself switching strokes from freestyle to breaststroke.
Yes, it was possible for me to swim the entire event in freestyle but without the experience of open water swimming, I felt more confident switching strong because I could see where I was going. This was important to me because I didn’t want to swim a necessary distance.
While at the back of the pack, I was comforted to know that I was not the only breaststroker.
The elites could have done another 1km, and still have finished ahead of me.
Mooroonpal taught me that you don’t have to be fast, and that you can do hard things.
Reaching the shore at a time of 28:01, I was glad to cross ocean swim off the list.
Oh and dreams of doing a triathalon? Yeah, no thanks.