Yesterday, I took the plunge. Had the wetsuits for a week, so I had to work up the guts and finally get into the reservoir also known as Lake Pueblo. After work, we took off to the place where friend Peggy showed us. Unfortunately, that particular place was full of afternoon fisher folk; not a great place to change my clothes, even though there was a blocked off boat ramp where I could have just walked into the water. So, back in the car and drove a bit further. And found the perfect spot–a little cove/inlet with a slightly rocky slope, leading into a shallow portion that quickly dropped off to deeper. There were a few young women on the other side kayaking, so I felt comfortable at once.
Parked the car and started the ordeal of dressing. First, off with the clothes and on with the suit. I wanted to start from the skin out, just to see how long it would take. For the last week or so, I’ve been sticking pretty closely to 2000 calories a day or fewer, and I can say, even a week has made a difference. Got my suit on as usual, then got the “hoodie” shirt on, pulled all the way down over my hips. Then started with the wetsuit, turned half inside-out the way the guy at the sports shop showed me. That works SO much better because it gives you something to hold on to and you can get the whole thing pulled up higher on your legs before starting on the body. This time, the thing actually went over my backside fairly easily! I was psyched already. Then the arms and getting it zipped up the back and viola, there I was! A swimming sausage! G had some water shoes so I put them on and walked down the slope to the water.
I was nervous. I won’t lie. I’ve been nervous about going into the reservoir for a lot of reasons, but when I finally put my feet in (and it was COLD), and started wading out, I knew I had picked exactly the right gear. I splashed the water on my arms and face to acclimate, and worked on finding my orientation in the water with the suit on. It completely changes your buoyancy. I already have no trouble floating, in fact, I CAN’T sink no matter how hard I try, but the suit made me float in a different orientation, like a turtle on its back. But eventually, I got situated and started to swim. Everything worked! The hood kept the water off my neck AND out of my ears. Having my arms free was great. I will need different goggles, but the ones I have will do for now. I was worried I’d lose G’s water shoes, but managed to keep them on. I swam back and forth several times, trying to figure out how to keep landmarks in sight, etc. G is a great coach but she’s going to need a whistle because I can’t hear her voice even when she yells when my head is under water. Most of all, I SWAM! In the reservoir! And the report from just a couple of days ago said the surface temp was 55 degrees which is about the same as the SF Bay, so I am GOLDEN. I will be going out several afternoons a week now to swim in that little place. I’m so excited! Getting over that first hurdle was a big thing. Now I know I really AM going to do that damn swim in the bay even if someone has to push me off the boat.
Happy Memorial Day weekend…