Saturday, September 26, 2009

Marco - Polo...

Friday morning I headed to the lake. It was dark. I have to drive to the lake and the air was thick – a blanket of fog covered the roads – visibility was nil. I arrived at Greg’s house right at 6AM. Dan was circling the neighborhood in his truck – he was not sure where Greg lived. It was dark.

We both walked around to the back of the house and Lance and Greg were getting ready to jump in. Did I mention how dark it was? – or how foggy it was? Now there are two or three buoys that mark a triangle of about a third of a mile – visibility was only about 10 feet – we could not see any buoys. The lights in the houses across the lake were very dim. I really did not have any apprehension. Dan said that he had been a swimmer in high school but he had not been in the water in about 10 years. We headed out into the mists. We swam in the general direction of the first buoy. I was going to try and stick close to the others – it would be an easy open water swim. There was no need to push the pace. After a couple of minutes of swimming and looking around we all kind of stopped and tried to get our bearings. It was just Greg, Dan and I – Lance was nowhere to be seen. In the darkness plus the fog we could not see anything. We called for Lance for what seemed like a few minutes – time is very relative when you are treading water in the dark! We finally heard Lance way to the left of us. He yelled that he was at the buoy. We all headed towards the voice. He was probably only 30 or 40 feet from us. We got to the buoy but we were not intact. We had lost Dan. This time we really did call and yell for Dan for a few minutes. We thought he was playing a joke on us and he was going to attack from behind us or something. It started to seem like a bad movie from the 80’s – piranha, alligator or something swamp thing-ish. After a small eternity we heard Dan far in the distance. He said that he had swam almost to the other side of the lake. I was having a good time and playing “Marco – Polo” – it was fun – almost like a swimming hide and go seek or maybe a water scavenger hunt! We made it back to the shore and Dan was humbled by the swim. Not being in the water in so long had deteriorated his swim fitness. I am sure that his swimming skills will resurface in a short time and he will be schooling us! Lance and I went out for another lap in the lake. I ended up swimming for about 30 minutes and had a blast. I think it would be fun to have a midnight showing of one of those movies and then see who is brave enough to swim the lake. It would be great fun!

I thought about the swim later in the day. Last year I would not have even gotten in the water in the dark. I always waited until the sun was a least up a little bit. On this swim I did not feel any apprehension – none - and I think these were pretty challenging conditions. My swim confidence and proficiency have really improved in the last year. Now it is time to work on the speed!