I was a little worried about open water swimming on Sunday but I am alive even though the water was, indeed, very murky (gag!) and there was a jellyfish incident.
I know, I know, calling it open water swimming for starters sounds just a little scarier than what it actually is, which is swimming in the ocean, and bajillions of people do that every day. The words open water just sound so ominous, like it's, perhaps, open season for eating swimmers. That's just where my mind goes.
I have issues.
So I met my tri-group for some open water swimming and murky wasn't the word.
I might have chosen, disgusting. Or heeby jeeby. Or oh, hell no!
And I really tried not to be a baby about it, I really did. But having to walk through knee-deep sea grass and sliding along in the slippery disgusting mud and not being able to see what your walking on or through still makes me want to gag. But I did it anyway in the name of bravery. Which will become a recurring theme throughout this venture by the way.
And there were more girls than guys by the way.
I just want to say for disclaimer purposes that this area that we swam in is a very popular recreation area. There are sidewalks/running paths up and down the causeway, there is a kayak rental shop right where we were, people were fishing, pretty much the area was already bustling when I showed up at 7:20.
So back to the wading out in the grass.
We walked out to where we were going to swim which was water about waist-deep, just over the grass really and my hands hit it when I swam. My first thoughts were something along the lines of THISISSODISGUSTINGICAN'TBELIEVEI'MDOINGTHIS.
But one must try and remain calm so one can breathe properly.
Because if they can't breathe because of say, panic, then one cannot swim, and one must keep stopping. Over and over and over again. And the leader of the group might be walking along with this one person for a little while until they get their bearings.
That one might've been me. Might've not. I'm just saying.
If I wasn't so freaking freaked out, I might have enjoyed the large round fish with vivid colors that passed underneath me (every time I tell the story, somehow the fish gets bigger in my head), or the spiny-looking grass that snorklers might find charming. But I was pretty much freaked out and really just trying to get through it until the one bush that marked our 1/4 mile.
Then I swam hard to the end. Then realized that was just halfway.
One girl got out and started to walk back. So I had the option. But then I started getting all stubborn on myself like I do and started fighting with myself in my head. And because I was so disappointed in my ridiculous performance while the other swimmers were just swimming along like LA LA LA! I decided I'd buck up and swim back. My head was screaming no, but there was some other voice yelling at me saying, "It's just GRASS! You're actually afraid of the grass? Because there are no sharks swimming in this grass, that's for sure. So you're actually JUST AFRAID OF GRASS." And I thought, what would I tell my kids? I was afraid of grass? Wouldn't I tell them the same thing, that it's just grass and get over it? Yes I would. Would I want them to know that mommy couldn't be brave and swim over some damn grass? No.
So then I swam. And I hardly stopped. I kept up. And we were almost to the end when the leader of the group screamed.
Because he got stung by a jellyfish.
I will say that if that'd been me, this story would have turned out much differently. I might not be returning to the water. I might be scarred for life.
I am not wishing the jellyfish on anyone. I am just saying, for my first time out in that disgusting water, that would have been the icing on the cake and I would have thrown in the towel. After I used it first. Or maybe I would have had another brave talk with myself.