It's 5:45 in the morning and I'm waiting for swim friends to join me in the pouring rain and dark. It's Tuesday of the 4th week of my first level 2 field work rotation as an occupational therapy student in Salem Oregon. I've made swimming here my morning ritual for the last month and missing a swim always makes my day at the hospital a little off. I checked my messages at 5:51 no one is coming.
I guess at this point I spend more time swimming alone in conditions I wouldn't recommend other people swim alone in. It's not that I think I'm a better or safer swimmer than others, it's that my soul feels claustrophobic the rest of the day when I don't get my gills wet in the morning. I'm away from my tribe and rather than feeling lonely on my swims it feels right. Like the solitude of swimming even in a group of people is something that's hard to explain. You're never truly with anyone else in the water. It's just a parallel activity that people enjoy simultaneously.
Our community has had several water-related emergencies this summer and swimming alone may seem like a slap in the face to people intimately affected by these situations. If I had other options maybe I wouldn't, but I can't say for sure. I think at some point every long distance swimmer has to train alone in conditions that are less than ideal. This feels like a metaphor for life, sometimes things just are not great but the only way to get through them is on our own.
It's 6:21 and I'm still sitting in my car at Turner Lake wearing my cap and goggles wrapped in my dry robe staring at the water. I feel like after writing this I need to get in, if for no other reason and to show myself that I can.
Popular posts from this blog
UPDATE 2/27/2022: I'm planning to repeat this swim in 2022 using Marathon Swimmers Federation guidelines for documentation, so this time it will be official! For more info visit this link to Everything Lower Willamette and LowerWillametteSwim.com . Currently, planning on July 30, 2022. If you or anyone you know would like to help out, please comment or contact me otherwise. 💖 It's taking some processing and time to sit with the events of last Saturday, 8/21/21. A lot happened, and nothing happened. Let's see. Where to begin? *Most photos are at the end. Training for the swim was the easy part. I enjoy long swims and logging miles in the morning before class, and digging into the day's tasks. Crossing under the railroad bridge in Milwaukie. Photo: Amanda Cross Organizing was a challenge. I decided early on not to have a support boat and instead do the swim with kayak support and someone onshore in a car acting similarly to how a support boat would. I called this
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
Occasionally, I get asked about my swim kit and rewarming practices. I've been pointing folks to www.loneswimmer.com for a while now, but hey, why not actually take the time and write up my own post? So here we go! (If you haven't checked out lone swimmer- do it now! Or after you finish here 😉) A note on the timing of this post: it is late January and the river is pretty chilly at this point, between 42-39, so these are the things and practices I use at ice swimming temperatures (below 41 F/5 C). I use most of these things on warmer swims too, but wanted to speak to the context of this post. Additionally, I want to preface this by saying that everyone's physiology is different and it's taken me years of trial and error to figure out what works for my body in the conditions I swim in. Depending on the conditions and how my body feels I'll use different combinations of my gear. Things I take into consideration when packing for a swim include: the combined air and w