Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Can anyone spared a dollar??...And Open Water Scared

Before I talked about my date with my wetsuit, I need to ask if anyone can spared a dollar or two. This Sunday, I am doing Becel Ride for Heart. They are closing a portion of the Highway for us to ride our bikes or with roller blades. I am doing the longest portion (75 km) with Will. To ride that distance, I have to raise 60 dollars in donation. Me, procrasinated and only raised 7 dollars so far. My plan is to go around and asking for spare change. If I can get 30 people to give 2 dollars, that will be enough. I am meeting with my Fellowship this Thursday. I will see how much I can 'milk' from them :D

To donate.

1. Go to this site
2. Enter 'Cliff' for first name and 'Tam' for last name.
3. Enter the information, they accept credit cards.

Thanks a lot if anyone can help me out....the 75 km is hilly with the first half going up and the last half coming back down.

Yesterday driving down to the beach, I felt like I was going on a date. I could feel the same nervousness and anxiety. On one hand, I dreaded the feeling. An urge to run away. On the other, I feel excited. This is my first time trying on a wetsuit and taking a dip in the open water. There is no need to be worry. Everyone has to go through this.

So there wasn't a crowd. And no kids pointed and laughed at me. As Mike suggested, I put two plastic bag on my feet so the suit slided up easily. Felt like a fool with two plastic bags on. But it worked. I checked my goggles a few times and walk around to get a feel of the wetsuit. It was nice and tight to my body. There is still a hesitation of going in the water. But I didn't wear the wetsuit to not swim. That would be even more stupid.

Without wasting time, I started to do a few strokes. I wish I could say a lot of strokes but I only did a few. It felt very ackward. I couldn't breath. I couldn't move in the water. Nothing is working. It felt like back in November when I started to learn to swim again.

I don't know if it was the wetsuit or the water, I felt very clasutrophobic. Maybe:

i) first time I wear a wetsuit
ii) first time this year to swim open water in freestyle
iii) water is cold
iv) water might be dirty
v) no lifeguard around

These thoughts swirl in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my strokes and breathing. I got out there two more times. Each time I swam less than 100 yards. Everytime I came back on the shore, I was breathing hard.

I stood there for a while before taking off the wetsuit and calling it a day. My mind was screaming "red alert...can you imagine swimming 2 km? Oh...I don't think you can do Muskoka anymore..u know in IM you have to swim 4 km." Of course, that kind of negative though is not helpful. I know what I have to do. More open water swim. Get use to the water, the wetsuit. The beache that I was at, it so happened it was about 100 - 125 ft wide before there are rocks. I could see myself swimming back and fourth. I would swim parallel to the shore and in not so deep water.

Thinking back, I never felt the glide. I need to focus back on my technique. I wondered how I could have swam 750 m last year. Then again, if I could swim 750 m last year, there is no reason why I can't do the same this year...or even more. I reminded myself that before I couldn't swim 2 laps. Now I can do 20. I just worked on it. Now I just have to work on swimming in open water.

So I left the beach still with some anxiety and doubt. I am glad none of the Lake Sharks got me :D. And I am more determine to swim 2 km in open water in 3 weeks.

On google map, I spotted a lake that is on the way back from work. That will be a good place to dip after work.


Steven said...

The first time in the water with a wetsuit is a very strange experience, Cliff. But it'll come around.

Just keep plugging away at it and each time will be easier then the last time.

Bolder said...

claim small victories Cliff!

you were in the water in your wetsuit!!

William said...

Maybe you forgot how to swim altogether?

You'll be fine Cliff. 2k? No problem for you now. Have faith in your training.

Anonymous said...

I just donated some cliff, hopefully that gets you a tad closer to your goal. Good Luck.

Donald said...

Sometimes in open water you have to remind youself to relax. Keep working ot it, it will come to you.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

If the water was cold, that's almost certainly what the trouble was. Cold water on your face will take your breath away, and proper breathing is essential to everything else you do in the water.

Next time, try spending a little more time getting used to it. Bob around a bit. Float with your face in the water, then flip over, relax and breathe. Once you're used to the water temp, the rest should be easy.

And most important-- if you're conscious, it's almost impossible to drown in a wetsuit! If you need any reassurance on that point, dive underwater and try to stay there. I dare you!

Face it, you're a cork! Now go swim!

Habeela said...

One at a time Cliff. You got in the water and swam 100 m. Next time it will be 200m and before you know it the anxiety will be gone. Just keep repeating. Way to go!

Mike said...

Cliff- got your email re:the swim. Glad you finally got a chance to use the suit. Ditto everyone else's thoughts here- it will get easier. I was in the same boat panic attack...almost felt like someone was choking me! Thank god it got tip that could help- make sure the suit is pulled up very tight in the groin area so that it isn't "pulling down" from the neck and creating extra stress there...also that the shoulders/arms are pulled in tight (no gaps in your armpits)....keep at it!!

Kewl Nitrox said...

1st time is indeed the hardest. I remember that you said before that swimming is very much just a decision for you. I remember you saying that the day you swam 2km (or was it one?) you "just decided to do it".

Tough as it is, I am sure that as soon as you decide to swim 2km in the sea, you will kick ass! You are exactly right - control the mind and focus on the strokes. If I let my mind wander about what COULD be in the water with me (and I am an experienced scuba diver), I get so anxious that I totally lose my stroke. So concentrate and pretend the wetsuit is a coat of armour! :D

E-Speed said...

Hope you made you goal for Sunday Cliff! I have been MIA, hopefully my donation made it in time!

Open water swimming is so much different than the pool. You'll get the hang of it!

Comm's said...

Wetsuiting is hard the first time. As long as you didn't get a hot spot or chaff aroudn your neck your doing good.

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