Saturday, March 23, 2013
Well… I did it! Last month I made my first attempt at completing an ice swim qualifier to certify myself for the international ice swimming association (IISA http://www.internationaliceswimming.com/) but unfortunately was just shy of my goal. Though I did complete a .8 mile swim in ~24F air temp and ~34F water temp – ROUGH – it wasn’t quite enough to make the IISA. So today I completed that goal!
Today was a phenomenal day! Prime for an “ice” swim. Most of my previous fans from attempt #1 were absent in physical presence but all were there mentally. My wonderful crew of my dad and Ed Riley next to me in the kayaks and Chris Grinnell leading the way on paddle board made it all possible. John Hughes was here today too which made for extra fun. John planned to swim a little of the start with me… He dipped his toes and splashed around a few strokes but I think that was satiating enough for him! On land I had the great cheer squad of Chet and Beth (Chris’s wife) and a handful or two of beach meanderers. Apparently I had a few other mini cheer squads at the Shore Club and in the Manor Park — who were you!?!?! Own up so I can say thank you 🙂
I took a different approach in my swim today. In my last swim, I held a strong consistent pace of freestyle, even despite my numbness. Today because of the delightful weather and gorgeous sunshine, after a few strokes of freestyle I decided to flip to my back and I did backstroke for the rest of the swim. Anyone who knows me in the pool knows how much I despise backstroke! But backstroke got me through it today. I aimed to make my main focus optimism and positive thinking. Swimming on my back made a huge difference for this because I totally soaked up the rays and tried my hardest to zone out into the movement of the clouds and the passing of birds and planes. I also made it a priority to avoid dropping any F bombs to the crew and made sure to keep smiling faces all around 😉
Backstroke slowed me down a bit and toward the end I was nearly vertical in the water but I think I was stronger mentally because of it. The air temp today was about 38F and the water temp was ~36-38F. I completed my ~mile in 32 minutes. This was a TREMENDOUS difference from the February swim (refer to that blog post for the temps – yikes!). I was cold today – a given – but not in nearly as much pain as last time. And I finished the distance today!
Thanks to my dad, Ed, Chris, Chet, John, and evvvveryone! Thank you all of you for helping me reach my goal and achieve my dreams, guys!!
I will be sure to share my certificate and my awesome red jacket when all is official! 😉