Posted by: realifemermaid | May 3, 2013

USMS Open Water Nationals

Last weekend, I swam in USMS Open Water Nationals in Ft. Myers, Florida. After years of swimming as a sprinter, where a “long” race was 100 yards, and I would rarely swim a 200 (that was omg so long!) it has taken awhile to adjust as a uber long distance swimmer. I have rediscovered my favorite sport. I swam the 5K in the morning (5,000 meters…100 times longer than my old favorite) and then the one mile race that night.
During my swimming hiatus last year, I had a hard time justifying swimming. Determining why it was okay for me to put so much effort into the pool, just to try to swim a little bit faster. I had a hard time justifying it.
At the race last weekend, I saw all types of swimmers. There were some incredibly fast ladies, former top collegiate champions and Olympic qualifiers. I got beat by a 60 year old that fit one of those categories…that calibar of swimmer can still be quite fast when they are 60!
But then there were a few other swimmers that were there just for the fun of it. This included a woman in her 70s that took about twice as long as everyone else to finish. My teammate and I stood next to her before we started, and Amy took notice to her and was especially impressed at this lady’s longevity and committment to the sport.
That is what I really love about open water swimming. No matter what place you finish in (although I still love to be competitive…) you win! You can continue winning your whole life, even if you are the last person to finish. It is about you and the open water…the big fluffy clouds and the fish that are a little creepy to touch but still make the whole experience that much more fun.
This weekend is a much more laid back race with a lot of friends and people just trying to complete the 2 1/2 mile distance. I will feel just has happy and am looking forward to the starting line just as much as any other event.
And please excuse the lack of “good writing” in this entry…it is Friday afternoon and I am looking forward to the swim tomorrow and tired from a week of teaching!

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