Open Water Swimming Without a Wetsuit

My heart was pounding in my jaw.

I spent more time being apprehensive about jumping into the water than actually being in the water. I had a fear that somehow, without my wetsuit, I would just sink to the bottom of the lake. Like some giant pair of hands would just come up from the dark, dark surface of the water, grab me by my belly, and pull me towards the bottom.

Well, that theory went out the window today.

As apprehensive as I was — I think I spent about 15 minutes debating whether or not it was a good idea to swim in the lake — I eventually leaned in enough to get up to my knees submerged. I found something to hang on to and then just plunged in, scared as hell.

Once I was in the water, I took a minute to get my wits together. I’ve swam in open water before. It’s not new to me.

Swimming in Lake Union

Apprehension makes me scared. It makes me slow. Overthinking as always. Feeling paranoid. I swam about 10 yards to the small floating log/plank bridge and hung on for a bit. I swam back to the dock. I did that a few times and did a triangle swim to the thingy that was about 25 yards away. I opened my eyes for the first time.

There is a first for everything, but registering for Ironman Louisville meant conquering my fears, one at a time. Swim without a wetsuit? Check. Now to swim 2.4 miles without a wetsuit! I’m hoping to get some more practice with Shant in town, and hopefully with some other swimming buddies. Maybe I can get some of my work friends to come swim with me and make an event out of it. If there’s something else to distract me I am sure I wouldn’t be as apprehensive.

All in all it was a beautiful sunset swim. Shant was with me the entire time. He swam like a champ, and he too was a bit apprehensive. He doesn’t even have contact lenses so he’s just freestyling it without 20/20 vision! It was a good night. Here’s hoping to more minor victories over the next week. Our campground has open water, so I’m planning on taking a few tri suits along with me!

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