Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lifeguarding a TRI

Yesterday, I ventured out to Nickerson State Park, to lifeguard the Gut Check Tri. It was rainy, cold and windy. What an awesome day for a race! My first task was to place the buoys on the water at the markers.


These buoys are HUGE! And all I had was a kayak.
So, I am dragging, pulling, pushing the buoy to the marker through the wind on the lake. Needless to say, it was an exercise in futility. I managed to attach one buoy to its marker. JUST ONE! The smaller one was blown off shore. I retrieved it and then kept getting blown further and further out on the lake as I was attempting to attach it to the marker. I gave up when it was blown off my kayak and almost caused me to capsize! The third was blown off shore and was carried to the other side of the lake. And then the ONLY buoy that was attached to the marker pulled the weighted marker with it as it was blown across the lake.
Needless to say, the route plan was changed.
I love kayaking. It requires upper body strength, the ability to catch the water and paddle it. There are times, the catch isn't right and I am just moving my paddle. If the stroke is too deep or too shallow, it is ineffective, and useless.
After kayaking, my hip flexors are sore from stabilizing and my core feels like it has worked. Additionally, all those muscles involved in a pull, are also reminding me of the work they did. Yesterday was no different.
Today, I feel like I am fighting a cold from being in the cold and rain. I trust tomorrow I will be back in the swing of things.
Next year, I hope to compete in this race.


Thirty Years As a Lifeguard

Yesterday, I was doing some reflecting and I realized that I have been an active lifeguard for 30 years.


I remember getting a phone call from Tuscarora Inn, informing me that if I was to acquire my lifeguard certification (back then it was still Advanced Lifesaving), they would love to have me work as their lifeguard that summer. And so, the summer of my junior year of high school, I worked in the Delaware River Valley.

I learned a great deal that summer, about people, life and more about people. It was definitely a defining summer. In that, I gained a great deal........

AND by being encouraged to pursue this certification I laid the foundation for a future in aquatics and coaching and teaching.



-- I have served as lifeguard on various beaches, waterfronts, pools, and have guarded a variety of events including triathlons, open-water swims, and a movie shoot.

-- I am able to train lifeguards. (Yup, earned a different certification).

-- I improved my swimming skills and strength. Prior, I had little interest in lap swimming.

-- I currently serve as the Open Water Sanctions Chair for the New England Chapter of US Master's Swimming.

-- I became a swim instructor.

- I have served as a swim coach, and currently coach triathletes and open-water swimmers.



It has been an awesome adventure, and I am grateful that someone saw my potential even when I did not. I am grateful that I was asked to serve in this role. It helped me become a stronger leader and role model.


Summer is here. As you frequent beaches and pools, remember to thank your lifeguards. These young people are keeping you safe.




Monday, May 12, 2014

The Long Swim

After 200 yards, I looked at my friend and said, 'I think I have forgotten how to swim!' Another 100 yards, and I could feel my shoulders. And yet, I was able to finish 1300yards tonight. I battled through it.

I did feel weakness in my left arm as I pulled, and I definitely felt my left hamstring when doing kicking drills.

And as I am preparing for the 1.2mile swim on 28 June, across Buzzards Bay, I only regret waiting this long to get back in the pool.

This winter was tough and I chose to take some time off. I delayed my return longer than I had anticipated.

NO Regrets!! I am glad for the time to recover! I am glad to be back in the pool!


Looking forward to Wednesday's swim!