The past two days I did some easy open water swims. Monday’s swim was just to clear my mind, and it worked, about 1500m in I realized it was Brian Davis’ birthday, and was able to save myself the embarrassment of forgetting (like he did to me). Actually, come to think of it, Brian met up with me for a swim on my birthday and ended up not only forgetting, but was being such an ass that his wife, Marijana, took my side (about as rare as a spotted owl’s shadow). You know what? Now that I think about it, I wish I had forgotten because he didn’t deserve my birthday wishes! There was some other funny stuff that happened on that swim, but it falls into the category of crude things I’m not supposed to talk about. I’ll just say that putting on a wet suit in the middle of a lake is a lot easier than you may expect. Zipping the back is a little tricky, but completely doable.
I got my mom to row her shell along side me (painfully slow for her) and in that way I was able to track my swim with my Garmin, then plot it using Motionbased and Google maps. It’s easy to do, and pretty cool to check out. The whole swim was only 2k meters.
Today I did another swim, this time two miles, and I did it with Aaron Scheidies, the visually impaired athlete that I’m going to be racing with in October at the Dallas US Open Triathlon. Aaron is going to be the first Visually Impaired (VI) athlete to complete an Olympic distance race in under 2 hours, and I’m really proud that I’m going to be the guide to help him get there.
Swimming with a VI athlete is amazingly easy. We have a “tether”, which is actually just a bungee cord around both our waists, and we swim. I just have to be careful not to get in front of him (the tether gets in the way if we aren’t side by side), and when the tether gets tight, I have to remember that I’m supposed to be keeping my line, not following Aaron.
Aaron is a pretty interesting guy. He has 10% vision, and says he can mainly see shadows. He has an excellent memory, and is so good at getting around that when we met at Green Lake, he showed up on a bike. Not a tandem, no guide, he biked there himself, on the roads. He says he’ll hit things on sidewalks, but cars are big, and he just goes where they go. It’s risky, he admits, but it gives him freedom that he wouldn’t have if he depended on somebody else for transport. Go Aaron. I’m afraid riding my bike on the road with cars, and I can see. My hat’s off, Aaron has guts that I can only dream of.