In deep water

Last week I signed up for my first triathlon which prompted me to get myself into deep water.

This last weekend my two daughters, the neighbor girl, and I decided to go up north. The weather forecast didn’t look too promising, but it was the only weekend I had available this month to go up. The decision was pushed along a little further by Angel who really wanted to go. She is looking for a summer job and said that it will probably be one of the last weekends that she wouldn’t have to work. Plus I wanted to practice swimming in open water. So we packed our bags and went.

Last minute my brother Luke and his family came up. So did my parents with Matt. In the past, I wouldn’t have been able to bring visitor children up north. But it has been almost 14 years since Matt had a meltdown and hurt anyone, so I felt pretty safe. But I think there will always be the hesitation in my decisions regarding Matt. I can’t seem to forget how things used to be. Things that this new generation rarely had opportunity to see.

When the cabin is packed, sometimes we are in pretty tight quarters. I had to share a bed with my 6 year old niece Gracie one night and her 8 year old sister Mavis the next night. Now, as I found out, Mavis is a restless sleeper. She tossed and turned all night long. Sometimes I would wake up with her legs draped over me or her knee wedged in my hip socket. She stole my covers and they were strewn all over the room before the night was over, or it least it seemed that way. So needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep. Sorry if this post makes little sense! Zzzzzzz….

I have to swim 750 meters or about 1/2 mile for the tri. Saturday I decided to swim half way across the lake and back which is close to a 1/2 mile. I never swam across the lake without a tube or flotation device before. I will admit that even though I love water, I was a bit nervous. At times, I was a bit out of breath. I gasped for air and got a mouth full of water instead. At one point, a weed wrapped itself around my inner thigh which elicited a shriek. I have a fear of weeds. That caused my mind to become fearful. When I looked underwater, I thought that I saw big fish, turtles, underwater laughing loons, muskrats, man eating piranhas, or cadavers lurking in the water beneath me. My mind was playing tricks on me at the end. C’mon, it was only a weed! I didn’t have the security of escape. I wasn’t quite expecting how that would feel. 

This morning I told myself and everyone else that I would be swimming across again. I made a huge breakfast of eggs, hash browns, and bacon which I took my time preparing and eating. Then I had a long winded theological debate with my parents. I made sure to wait for the bathroom when the line was the longest. I took my time cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes. Was I stalling, perhaps?? This morning was a bit of a bear. I didn’t sleep well for two nights. It was raining with temps in the mid 60’s with 20 mph winds. Even the hardiest of children did not want to attempt a fun dip in the cool waters this morning. To be honest, neither did I.

Then my mom told a story of someone that fell out of a boat in a nearby lake that got wrapped in the weeds and drowned. She said that is why they had to kill the weeds in the lakes. What??!? Are you kidding me? I never heard such a thing! My mom told me to ask my dad. I asked him and it started another debate between my parents over weeds. Another delay! My mom prompted me to back out which made me want to even more. I did worry slightly about the vast amount of water that I ingested. Perhaps it was full of weed killing poison. Argghh!

I put on my swimming suit and finally headed for the water. The winds were catapulting pine cones at my head, but at least it stopped raining. An eagle circled above. I stood in the water wrapped in my towel for about 15 minutes until I could find the courage to embrace the cool water. I really wanted to chicken out. I really, really did. But I finally did it! I had a very similar experience as yesterday. But I was satisfied with it. I finally was able to get myself into deep water.

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