Kingdom Swim: Part 2

We went run-trotting into the water.  It’s difficult to run in water.  It’s even more difficult to be surrounded by a whole bunch of other people doing the same thing.  But nobody bumped me or kicked me this year, which was nice and thoughtful on the part of those around me.

Once it got past our knees, people started going under.  This was a bit unsettling, reminiscent of war movies where suddenly shots start firing and people start dropping around you, and you start to wonder who will be next to go.  I’m not sure when I decided to go for it, but I was mildly afraid to be run over… or swum over.  At some point, I took a breath and plunged into the water.

OH GOD… it was COLD!

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Kingdom Swim – Part 1

Goodness!  It’s so hard to know where to start with this story.  I guess let’s start with Plucky, the beloved kayak, who gets us where we need to go out on bodies of water far and wide.  We are able, my steadfast kayaker and I, to fit Plucky in my Honda Civic with us.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is possible.  The back seat folds down and Plucky’s nose pokes out between the seats like a puppy dog wanting to see where we’re going, while his rear end sticks out the back about a foot or so.

The important thing is that he fits.

Now, Plucky is a little bit self-conscious.  He’s not the sleekest, fastest, longest kayak.  He and I have similar properties: we get the job done, but we don’t really look like what you expect.  So when we pulled into the hotel parking lot to face mobs of crazy, intense, EXPENSIVE, “serious” kayaks, Natalie and I were definitely sensing Plucky’s sudden insecurity.  We took him up to the room that night, while the other kayaks stayed outside on cars, and he felt much better by morning.  Especially once a cheaper looking, about-the-same-size kayak lined up next to us on the beach.

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Something Beautiful

Whilst under water tonight, I had an epiphany.  As my hands pressed against the water and my arms took great strides to pull myself through the chlorine charged atmosphere, I could feel the water moving around my body perfectly.  I have felt it before, of course; I feel it every time I swim.  But today, I realized why I like swimming so much, why I so often want to do it, why there is such a passion within me to do it…

When I am swimming, I feel such uncommon gratitude for my body.

Now, I know that might sound weird to you if you’re a guy… but most girls have a lot of trouble being grateful for their bodies.  We grow up pressured to look a certain way, to dress a certain way, to move a certain way.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my red hair and freckles, but I don’t see many girls in Hollywood with them.

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1st 10 Mile Open Water Swim

I was a little nervous, I must admit.  I think that my monthly swim average has dropped from 7 miles a week to less than 4 for the month of June.  Brutal.  Depressing.  Fingernail biting as the ten-mile Kingdom Swim on July 9th grows closer.  And I can’t bite my nails too much because my brother is getting married in December, and I’m going to be a bridesmaid.  The last time I was a bridesmaid, I didn’t stop biting my nails soon enough….

Anyway, so there I was, 6:30 am, beginning a pre-cursor ten-mile open water swim across Lake Bomoseen.  I wondered about the veracity of calling a ten-mile swim a “dry run”… and not knowing enough history behind the phrase, I decided not to call it that.  Well, it just doesn’t make sense to call a swim a dry anything.

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