While working on my doctorate in occupational therapy, I found it nearly impossible to keep appointments with myself to swim. Now that I'm an OT swimming remains my most valued occupation and keeps me strong physically and mentally. Swimming is how I recharge, connect with myself, and manage my mental health. Let's dive in!
Water Walking for the Apocalypse
Well folks, it finally happened. Governor Kate Brown has moved Multnomah County into Phase 1 of reopening as of Friday. For some people in Portland the 'reopening' of the city was the only thing they celebrated, but June 19th, Juneteenth is so much more (click for link to YouTube video by NextGen America) Since this is primarily a swimming blog, I won't go into that much about Black Lives Matter... but this is quite possibly the most important thing going on in our country right now and swimmers have a place in the history of excluding of black people from our sport, and that needs to change. I know, I know. You and me, it's not directly our fault that swimming is a predominantly white sport, but it is our fault if we are okay with that continuing. We need to work to include all people in the swim, especially Black people and people of color. Be open, invite friends of friends to join you for a swim. If you're qualified, volunteer to teach swimming in areas that don't have access to free swim instruction. Okay. On to the swim stuff.
Scattering flowers and sending good intentions.
Saturday was the Summer Solstice. Last year at this time my dear friend Amanda and I were on a Swimcation reaching up the I-5 corridor, heading through Seattle and all the way to Whidby Island. This year I had planned to do study abroad in the UK, but then you know... global pandemic and all. So, instead of Seattle or Stonehenge, I celebrated the solstice with a 'swim' at our local beach reading poetry, releasing flowers and good intentions into our river, and snacking by the water.
Golden Gardens in Seattle with friends on solstice June 21, 2019.
Let me back up a bit. About a month ago now I had a fall on my bike and broke two ribs. Needless to say, swimming isn't exactly possible at the moment but water walking is! Some good has come of my bad luck: we discovered what folks in the UK knew all along- that faffing about in the water is super fun! Walking up the beach and floating back down isn't swimming exactly, but something else entirely that is just as much fun if not more! At our local urban beach, it takes about 25 minutes to walk 500m and 2-3 minutes to float back. The best part is since the water is warming up and is currently 62 F it is hard to get a good shiver on. But! By walking leisurely I am able to a nice little chill on. Sadly, I am not able to get cold enough to get proper cold and get all the happy brain chemicals I get from colder temps. Hopefully, in about two weeks I'll be testing the waters with a "real" swim. Until then, I look forward to more water walking for the apocalypse!
Pinholes, cracks, abrasions. They're unavoidable and death for swim buoys. Fortunately, they can be patched and stretch out the life of the buoy. Unfortunately, some holes are harder than others to successfully patch. To illustrate I have patched three different buoys of different construction with holes in different places. I'll follow up at the end and report which buoys are doing the best one month after being patched. You will need the following things to begin. 1. Dish soap & bathtub or bucket full of water. 2. Rubbing alcohol. 3. Duct tape or masking tape. 4. Aquaseal brand wetsuit cement (Try others, but this is the brand I've used for years to repair gear. It can be purchased at REI, Wal-Mart, or most marine supply stores.) 5. Something to spread it with (I frequently will use cardboard and cut it into scrapers) paper towels. 6. Patience. 7. More patience. 8. If you're messy like me: Craft gloves. Aquaseal gets everywhere and does not come off of ha
Mid channel to Alcatraz Round Trip Angel Island (RTAI) A month ago now I was walking out of the water (at about the time I'm starting this post) after swimming 7 hours 50 minutes and 9 seconds in the San Francisco Bay. The course was the famous Round Trip Angel Island , one of the Toughest Thirteen according to MSF. Leading up to this swim I was a nervous wreck. This past summer was especially tough. After a successful, but painful, Portland Bridge Swim I had to cancel my planned Three Islands Waldo Lake route to focus on stroke work with Intrepid Water (more later in this post on my work with Shannon at Intrepid Water) and shoulder recovery. I felt undertrained and like I was still mending when my feet hit the water in Aquatic Park at 3AM on September 23. For all those feelings of trepidation, I made it through- in large part to my crew: Sue Phillips, Wendy "Pepper", Vicky Miller, and Sumner Williams; piloted by Tom "Reptile" Linthicum on the Ghostrid
Fall swimming is in the air in Portland, but not in the Gorge! The past two weekends I've made the short trek out to Hood River to swim 5 miles from Mosher to the Best Western in Hood River. It is such a gorgeous swim and the water remains a balmy 68 Fahrenheit while the rivers in Portland continue to cool down to the mid to low 60s. On both weekends there was a moderate current assist, but the locals insisted "there's not any current right now." Well, I know my 500 m splits and sub-7 minutes is not my usual pace in open water. Regardless, the water and scenery are lovely and the company wasn't bad either 😉. The first weekend was a bit rough for me, I hadn't been sleeping well and was feeling burned out from studying. The swim was fine the scenery was beautiful, but I was tired before I got in and so it was less enjoyable than a swim in the Gorge usually is. BUT! Week 2, wow. It was GREAT. I was better rested, Sue from Corvallis joined us, Brianna came,