Trek Women
July 31, 2008


Water_noodle_2 Swimming in open water freaks me out. I hate it. All I can think about is grody things touching me like seaweed or dead stuff. It’s even worse right now since Shark Week is on the Discovery Channel and that’s all the fuel my overactive imagination needs. Last night as I was flipping channels, I saw a Greenland Shark that was like 22 feet long! Creatures like that live underwater and I want nothing to do with them, EVER.

Even though I know there are no sharks in Lake Michigan, given the industrial waste that’s been dumped in there over the years, I bet there are two-headed, mutant fish swimming around and I bet one’s gonna touch me when I do the Chicago tri. Seriously, this is what I think about when I’m doing laps.

The other scary thing about open water is the choppiness. You turn your head to breathe and a wave washes in. A wave of polluted, mutant-fish water. But, I think I have found a genius way to get used to the chop and still train in a pool. Find out when your community pool has water aerobics classes, then swim in the lane closest to them. I guarantee you’ll know a thing or two about waves when 20 people start simultaneously aqua-jogging. Just watch out for the flying noodles.


You are so right! When I swam in Lake Michigan I was afraid I'd see dead bodies in cement shoes. I'd practically hyperventilate before each swim! But the worst I ever saw was a rusty barrel or two. Yuckier than that is the seaweed crud that gets in your suit. Personally, I like the waves in an open water swim. If they're not too high it's soothing to me to rise up and down with the swells. Swimming next to a water aerobics class is a good idea. See if you can find a pool that doesn't use lane lines. That will give you choppy water and practice navigating around other swimmers.

Posted by: Becky | Jul 31, 2008 3:09:16 PM

Bec, you read my mind -- I was going to write "dead bodies in cement shoes" then chickened out and wrote "dead stuff". I still feel hyperventilate-y whenever I get in a regular pool and I can't touch the bottom. Seaweed sucks and so do crayfish because they can bite your toes.

Remember swimming at Hinsdale South and that window under the diving boards. I was CONVINCED that one day, some crazy janitor was going to release a shark and it would get me.

I'm such a lunatic.

Posted by: Laura | Jul 31, 2008 4:15:54 PM

OMG - a shark! It's a wonder you ever swam in that pool. I can't say that the window bothered me. I've always wanted to see the room behind that window. Probably just where they laundered those 1950s era swim suits they made us wear in gym class.

I was out-of-my-mind terrified of crayfish at Camp Chippewa Bay (Girl Scout Camp in WI). They were just teeming in the swim area. I get shivers thinking about standing in that clear lake water and watching them scuttle closer to my feet. Speaking of crayfish, I just watched Emeril cook a crayfish and corn bisque with Martha yesterday. Now there's a fitting use for the little toe pinchers.

Lunacy runs in the family. :)

Posted by: Becky | Aug 1, 2008 7:48:45 AM

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