Showing posts from February, 2022

The hardest part: Getting in

The 2021/2022 morning Yeti crew (minus Matthew) Photo: Susanne Kicking on my back as the sun comes up. Like so many things, the hardest part of ice swimming is getting in. Interestingly, it's not getting out of bed or getting to the water, but literally putting one foot in front of the other until I'm in.  The second hardest part is getting out. Once I'm in and floating on my back, it's like the world disappears and (especially in the dark or during sunrise) I exist only as a small speck in the universe floating in harmony with the world around me, its so cold that my body seems to disappear and everything becomes peaceful and simple. It's centering and meditative. I casually notice small changes in how my body is feeling, I notice them, check if it's normal, and then put it out of my mind. If only I could cultivate this process with thoughts and emotions I would be well on my way to solid meditation practice.  Frosty morning. Frozen bottoms! (Photo: Matthew) Tw

Buoy Repair 101

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

Still in PDX

Post "swim" bliss last Sunday. It's been six weeks since my rotator cuff injury (more on that below) and my recovery is going well. Still not cold swimming but got the go ahead to try some light breaststroke and freestyle in the pool. For now, I'm pretty happy floating on my back in the Columbia. Water temp going between 36-38 f. So, not staying in as long as I would like, especially since I'm not moving much, but pretty happy none the less. It hurts to not be in my final fieldwork/clinical for my OTD, but everything happens for a reason. Maybe there's a bigger purpose to the timing of my injury. Don't fret though! I'm still planning to swim another 24.5 mile Lower Willamette this summer, this time jumping through all the hoops for MSF. I've done a few swims in the pool using fins to push me through the water and, as best I can, passively moving my arm through the catch phase. It's really hard. I am constantly catching myslef (ba d