Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Put your money where your mouth is

Warning:  This is a whiny post.  But I need to vent.  So skip it if you don't want to be annoyed.

One thing that kinda bugs me is when swimmers alert the media about something they're training for and for some reason or another, don't actually swim.  That may be because they alerted the media prior to fully realizing the difficulty of the swim.  Difficulty in training, difficulty in hurdling all the logistics, difficulty in saving up the money needed.

Personally, I will never donate to someone who is raising money for their swim.  If they are asking for donations which link directly to a charity, that's completely different, and I'm fine with that.   It reminds me of those annoying calls from colleges I've attended.  They want me to donate for a scholarship.  Guess what?  I paid my own way through college, it drove me to excel, and not just coast.  Same thing with funding a channel swim.  If I pay for it myself, I'll train for it.  I'll take it seriously.

Last year I read up on this swimmer in Dallas who included ice baths for training for swimming the English Channel.  Yes, the Channel is cold, but ice baths in my opinion, are only good for mental training, or for training for an ice mile.  This is not cold water acclimatization training relevant to English Channel marathon swimming.  Ice baths are much colder than 50 degrees.  It's like a marathon runner training by sprinting 100 yards maybe twice a day and calling it good.  Exposure to super cold for maybe 30 minutes at a time is totally different than extensive multi-hour exposure to 60 degree water.

Did that Dallas based swimmer, Bryan Mineo swim the English Channel?  Not yet anyway.  The complete list of successful swimmers is here.  Dare to dream, but if it's a big dream, be sure you have done your homework and comprehend what it will take to complete it.  Especially if you plan to let other people know.

Reminds me of the guy in On a Clear Day.  He didn't even tell his wife or son, just his close friends who were very involved in his training.   If you talk, you better put up, or shut up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Techinque to prevent over-rotation in freestyle

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, I'm coaching my boys early in the morning.  They all have uniquely different styles of freestyle with varying strengths and weaknesses.  One in particular, Jonas, was having difficulty with over rotation in his freestyle.

I tried getting him on a snorkel, and focusing on his head position that way, and it worked fine, until he took off the snorkel.

With him swimming and me walking alongside the deck, I would look down and his arms would cross over quite dramatically as he overrotated, and also took a breath almost at his 12 'o clock rather than a 4 or 8 o'clock position.

He has been playing a superhero game on the ipod where Superman blows his enemies away with his laser vision.  I explained that he should imagine he is superman when he swims and intensely focuses his vision on the bottom of the pool directly beneath him.  And by so doing, creates a laser between his eyes and the pool bottom.  If he crosses his hand or arm in front of that line, his arms/hand will get cut off at that point.

Once I added that imagery to his mind, he then started having a high elbow pull, his back almost remained flat in the water, with his hands pointed down towards the bottom of the pool and palms facing behind him.  He no longer had the cross over and it also fixed his over-rotation!  It was like a totally different swimmer just jumped in!  Now that we have that imagery that corrects the problem, we gotta keep working on that and get the muscle memory to kick in.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Monster Slayer Chad

Yesterday I witnessed an amazing thing.  Chad swam the length of Bear Lake.  That's a 19 mile freshwater swim at an elevation of 5,924 feet above sea level folks!

Chad picked me up on Wednesday night and we drove straight up to the marina.  The crew consisted of myself, Sue Frehse, Sarah Jones and Chad's wife Chandra.

We got the boat loaded up and had a crew conference where Chad discussed his plan including feeds, direction of swim (which we decided at the time of arrival and referring to the weather forecast for the next 14 hours).  We discussed the roles every had and safety.  We then tied the kayak to the back of his boat and motored to the north end.  We went towards lights that we thought were the marina, but once we got close the lights disappeared.  They were on the other side of the north road which was confusing.  We slowed down and saw the shoreline was covered with reeds and difficult to get to.

I turned on my handheld GPS and I could see Goody's track from a couple weeks earlier.  The marina was a couple miles east of us.  So we started heading east.  But no lights.  What happened.  Once we got close to where we should be based on the GPS Sarah turned on a flashlight and BAM!  The marina wall was right there!  If we had gone a few seconds further we would have ran right into it.  There were no lights whatsoever near the marina, no buoy lights, not even the lights along the ramp were on.  Very dangerous situation.  Good thing we slowed down when we did.  Idaho State parks really needs to think about how safe it is to not have a single light on in that area.

We motored over to the end of the boat ramp and Chad started greasing up.  He then waded over to the rocks at the end of the ramp and started walking back in and we started the clock. (12:45:10 am)

Here are my transcribed notes:

Start Time: 12:45:10am

Mile Time Elpased time this mile Temp Stroke rate Feed * Conditions Notes
1 1:18 am 33 min 62° F 65 spm None Glassy Sue learning to drive and doing well
2 1:51 am 33 min 62° F 65 spm Liquid mix Glassy Sue is an awesome pilot! Chad looking smooth
3 2:24 am 33 min 63° F 63-64 spm Liquid mix Glassy Chad is a machine! Gords concerned about the higher than desired water temps, but no reason to stop.
4 2:58 am 34 min 65° F (two separate readings) 64 spm Liquid mix Glassy Water almost feels warm to the touch. Extending the thermometer to about 2 feet down. Same reading on thermometer
5 3:33 am 35 min 63° F 62 spm Liquid mix + Swiss Roll A little breeze from the north (tailwind)
6 4:10 am 37 min 64° F 61 spm Liquid mix Air temp is 62°, water is warmer than air temp. Chad says his back hurts.
7 4:50 am 40 min 64° F (two separate readings) 61 spm Liquid mix and a Buzz Bite Wind from the south, getting choppy. Like a doofus I accidentally stepped on the mercury reading thermometer and it broke. I will submerge my watch to get a digital reading. I'm getting really sleepy. Asked Sarah to resume observing duties while I sleep for one hour and I should be good.
8 5:29 am 39 min 65° F 60 spm Liquid mix Still pretty choppy Chad's stroke rate is dropping, but he is in good spirits. Doesn't say much. Feeds are very quick.
9 6:15 am 46 min 64° F 59 spm Liquid mix Less wind, chop turns to ripples now. Light on the horizon. When I awoke from my 1 hour nap I feel very. Chad's stroke rate is slowing. Says his feet are cold, but his core feels fine. His speech isn't slurred. Will continue to monitor his condition at feeds for hypothermia.
10 7:02 am 43 min 63° F 59 spm Liquid mix, Buzz Bite and Swiss Roll Less wind, chop turns to ripples now. Chad asked what the temp was. We told him and he seemed a little disappointed. I explained we still submit, and if it isn't accepted as a qualifier we try a different swim at the needed temp. He went right back to swimming.
11 7:53 am 51 min 62° F 59 spm Liquid mix Hardly a breeze now, just some ripples The sun is up and it feels great.
12.5 8:59 am N/A 61 spm Liquid mix, Buzz Bite, Ibuprofen No wind now, nice and smooth! I ask if Sue wants to pace swim with him so I take over piloting the boat while she changes. The throttle has a little "click" that takes it into first gear and then after only a few seconds of steering throttle to neutral and coast. Chad is now at a point where he's never swam this far before. Chad tells Sue he is feeling a little cold. He puts on his tinted goggles.
13 9:23 am N/A 63.1 62 spm Liquid mix Glassy Sue pace swims. Chad's stroke is less efficient. Sue is making him increase his stroke rate though, so that is good.
14 10:06 am 43 min 63 62 spm Liquid mix Glassy Chad comments "What a beautiful day!" I think I saw him smile. That is extremely rare. Sue got out a while, ago but I continue to drive. It's kinda fun. Easy to observe him and pilot cause I gotta keep the boat right at his pace.
15 10:53 am 47 min 63 64 spm Liquid mix, Buzz Bite Glassy Chad's stroke rate is up. He asked how much further. Seemed to like the "3 1/2" response. In good spirits. Air temp is toasty!
16 11:36 am 40 min 64 60 spm Liquid mix, Swiss Roll Slight ripple Sarah gets in to pace swim. She has to slow down. Chad seems tired, but steady. Chad requests advil next feed. Beach is visible from here. Sue takes over piloting.
17 no reading N/A no reading no reading Liquid mix, Ibuprofen Slight ripple At this feed Sarah accidentally loses the pen and it floats away while Chad takes his liquid and advil. I untie the kayak and jump in to get the pen. We're close enough now that I can paddle and be ready to capture some video.
18 no reading N/A no reading no reading none See Notes Had a slight tailwind breeze, notice up ahead that the water has serious ripples, once we get there the wind completely shifts from southerly to northerly and we have some serious headwind. Very windy. Chad comments to me that he feels like he isn't going anywhere. Wind is directly at our 12 o'clock and we have white horses!
19 (Finish) 13:55:16 N/A no reading no reading none See Notes I paddled into shore and noticed a small black patch. When he arrived there he started walking and the black patch were a bunch of reeds that made it really hard for him to walk over, I noticed that the patch ended about 20 yards off to his left and encouraged him to walk around instead of straight in to avoid them. He fell a couple times cause they hurt to walk over and too thick to navigate through. When he arrived on the beach he sat down to soak it in. I let him soak in his success without smothering him. I gave him a high five and he got lots of cheers from the girls on the boat waiting about 200 yards off shore.

Total time elapsed: 13:09:06

I'm so proud of Chad and how he was able to power through this.  I could tell he was tired, yet he persisted and not once complained.  Chad is the sixth person to have ever swam the length of Bear Lake!  Pretty neat accomplishment.

I had a great time crewing on this swim and although mother nature didn't help us out with a 61 degree temperature, she sure was kind in the relatively smooth conditions, until the end.  Those winds at the end were simply unreal!  I thought of the prayer that Chad asked Sarah to offer at the start.  Today's conditions were truly an appreciated answer to that prayer.  The winds the last mile were an eye opener to me of how it could have been.  Had it been like that starting half way into the swim, I don't think it would have been possible to finish.  It was amazing enough that he pushed through that last mile.  So proud of that guy!

Here's a few pics and video I took.
Chad joins a pretty exclusive group to have ever slain the
Bear Lake Monster!  (Image created by Josh Green)

Some things to work on:
He does have some stroke techinique that'll we need to work through to help with his lower back pain.  He needs to drive his head a little lower to get a more streamlined position, and we need to work on bilateral breathing.  The goal on a long swim like this should be at least 34 minute miles.  Why? Because in order to hit Cap Griz Nes in a tide cycle that lasts 6 hours, a 12 hour swim is ideal.  Unless your Trent Grimsey and can swim it just under 6 hours.

The English Channel from the shortest distance (Cap Griz Nes to the coast in Dover), is 21 miles.  If you're able to swim the English Channel in 12 hours, you're averaging 34 minute miles (including time wasted at feeds).  The more you deviate from that 34 minute mile average, the more you're gonna miss the cap which means a longer swim, because of the contours of the French coast.  I'm sure I'm over simplifying it, but regardless a 34 minute mile is something that is definitely achievable especially in good conditions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I consider the most inspiring clip from a swimming movie

The past few months I've been supporting several swimmers in fairly big swims.  2 out of 3 were pulled for hypothermia.  It's a serious thing to be on a support crew where you need to measure safety and support and know when the scale is tipping and what kind of support to give.

It made me think about my favorite scene from my favorite swimming movie.  If the swimmer is not in danger, the thought of being the crew member that convinces the swimmer to not give up and continue on until they actually finish.  That gives me goose bumps!  Now THAT is inspiring!

This clip is from "On A Clear Day".  If you're training to swim the English Channel, BUY IT

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Season wrap up with Deer Creek

Yesterday the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon took place and it was fun.  Even though I wasn't able to swim, I paddled for Sarah while her husband Steve paddled for their daughter, Sophia, who swam the one mile course.

When the 10 mile swimmers began they stayed relatively close together for the first half mile, but then spread out a little.  At that point Sarah was right on my starboard side about 3 feet out.  She did some drafting for a few minutes off various people, but I found that most of the other kayakers were doing a terrible job in guiding their swimmers.  I knew that if I could get her to follow my line closely, that we could swim a shorter path and "swim faster" than those who were having to sight every 5 strokes.  
At the end of Wallsburg bay she moved into 5th position.  Once she got around that buoy she quickly moved into 3rd position.  Then by the time we got to the mouth of Wallsburg bay again, she was only 25 yards behind Lisa and George.  By the time we got about 2.5 miles into the race she had passed Lisa and George and was continuing to lengthen that lead.  When I told her at mile 2 at her first feed she could win this thing, she splashed me and didn't believe me.  I told her I was serious and that if she maintained this pace she would definitely win it.  They were slowing down and she was speeding up.  Their kayakers were all over the place and I noticed they both were sighting frequently.  Sarah didn't sight more than a couple times the entire time I was with her.  

I was expecting Steve to catch me around mile 2, but he was no where to be seen so I stayed right with her.  I'd occassionally give her a sign of "You're doing really well", but holding a fist up.  I'd give her a two minute warning before her 30 minute feeds which went really fast.  They were about 30 seconds or so. She'd drink and go.  

When we got to the 5K turnaround buoy at the Rainbow bay she was doing very well.  We made it all the way to the 4.25 miles into it when Steve paddled up behind me.  I told him she was due for a feed in one minute and that if she kept going at this pace she would win.  

At this point I had to go to the bathroom really bad.  The whole experience made me much more appreciative of Tom Reilly and Terry O'Malley my paddlers for Catalina and MIMS.  That sure is a long way to paddle and I was only paddling for 3 hours.  They both did way more than that.

Today was a special day for me as it's my "Channelversary".  What a dream it was two years ago when I was able to tour Dover and England having just swum the channel!  I'm excited to go back and experience that all over again as a coach for Chad.  Here's a video that still gives me chills!

It's my ultimate goal to share that experience with him.  At yesterday's race he had an incident where a kayaker got too close to him and he ended up breaking and dislocating a couple fingers on his hand.  That was about a mile into the race so he swam the remaining portion in terrible pain, but he finished!  I can only imagine the frustration, disappointment and worry he must have gone through during the race.  
Charles, Lisa, Sarah, Chad and Stacey.  Utah Triple Crown
swimmers for 2014!
He is taking a couple days off to let the swelling go down and to heal, but he is very determined to continue his training and get his qualifier done in September.  I'm praying for him that it heals quickly.  Fortunately you don't have a ton of pressure on your fingers so the strain on them should be relatively small.  It's a significant amount of pressure if they're in pain I'm sure, but once they've even partially healed, it should be just a matter of keeping that pain under control.  

I'm so proud of my two close swimming friends Sarah and Chad for their performances on Saturday.  There were 5 swimmers total this year that swam the Utah Triple Crown during race day.  Pretty impressive!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Paying the price for pushing

Shoulder pain continues.  Went to see my surgeon this morning with the MRI images and he told me of three issues.  He said I have arthritis and tendonitis in my shoulder.  First off, I'm wearing down the tendons around the AC joint, instead of cartilage, there is none, it's bone rubbing bone which is the source of the pain.  He said it can be fixed fairly easily and without much impact on my training.  It's like a 4-5 week recover is all.  You cut down the bone and it fills in with scar tissue.  That part alone isn't a big deal.

But he noticed a couple things, a cyst near where my rotator cuff attaches to the bone.  There was a good amount of liquid in the tendon and in the bone around that cyst meaning that its been irritating that joint and its inflamed.  The amount of tendon that attaches to the bone concerned him.  Instead of it attaching along the full length, it was only attached at a fraction of the length, which implies there could be a partial rotator cuff tear there.

He seemed more concerned about another image which meant there could be a partial Labrum tear going into my bicep.  It would mean going in under my armpit, severing my bicep tendon and reattaching it to my bone instead of my shoulder.

There was a lot of information to take in and I hope I got it all right. He gave me several options like doing one surgery for the AC joint, or additionally having him go in with a scope and get a good look at things at the time of the AC joint surgery to see how bad it is and fix it.

It's got me thinking about my future and where I really want to go with this.  Do I want to keep pushing my body with training 8-10K yards a day several times a week in preparation for a ultra marathon swim?  I worry when I see my mother who doesn't have full range of motion in her shoulder due to her body breaking down and having surgery, but never back to full range.  If I get this surgery now, do I risk needing another surgical procedure later on, cause I've "worn out" that fix?  Do I take this as a sign to move on to a different sport?  My shoulder still needs some rest.  I tried swimming with it a little this morning while working with the kids.  Still pretty painful.  Makes me really sad.

I mentioned this idea to Dr. Gardiner and he said that there wasn't anything that required surgery for day to day functionality, but that if I wanted to train for big swims, that it would be a good idea to proceed.  So I'm leaning towards letting it all just rest and move on, then reassess in a year.  It's like I'm closing a chapter in my life that has brought me so much joy and purpose.  I have to be happy and extremely satisfied with what I've accomplished.  I know there are other activities I enjoy that will keep me young and fit.

I'll still be involved in coaching and participating in my friends adventures, but as for me training superhuman distances and planning long swims, that is postponed for at least a year.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Jonas does it! One mile straight swimming

Cathi observed and Jonas swam one mile
After Isaac's successful open water swim at the swim camp, Jonas has been getting ribbed pretty good from Isaac about his aborting the swim.  So Jonas has been desperate to prove himself to Isaac, and probably himself.  So today Jonas swam 36 laps continuously in the pool while I gave the younger two a swim lesson.  Cathi sat there at the end of the lane to make sure the count on his laps was correct.

He did it and I was so proud as I saw him really sprint that last lap. He still had ton left in the tank.  What a proud moment for me to see that kid make it.  Cool thing is he now gets his Mile Swim patch for scouts.  Probably the youngest scout to get it in our troop.

Nice job Joey!

Monday, July 28, 2014

1000 miles swam in open water

This morning I woke up with some shoulder pain just by lifting it.  This is new.  Not the typical ache at my ac joint.  Seems like it's my deltoid muscle itself and not the joint.  Who knows.  If it doesn't get better by tomorrow afternoon, I'll schedule an appointment with Dr. Gardiner like I should have done in the first place a few weeks ago.

So I hurried to hook up the trailer and got out to Pineview to paddle for Chad, Goody, and Sarah.  I stopped at Walmart
and picked up a nice headlamp and some glow sticks.   Met at the marina and got all ready to go.  We were in the water at 0440 and Sarah went at a slightly faster pace and had to stop a few times to let the boys catch up.

We got to the buoy line and I encouraged them to sprint the distance which is about 300 yards or so.  Then we made our way up the south side and then the sun started to show a little bit of light on the horizon.  When we got to the "Cigarette Buoys" as Goody calls them, I saw that Emily and Michelle's car was at the parking lot.  We were about 15 minutes past due so we had to hurry.

When we arrived they were on the beach preparing to get in.  Took a bit of coaxing, but we got them in.  Goody escorted Emily along the buoy line (1 mile), while Sarah and I escorted Michelle.  They did great.  They still are new to open water swimming and are a little apprehensive about it, but with more practice and confidence they'll do just fine.  They're strokes look good, it's just a matter of practice and persistence.

Looking forward to another session.  Chad's big Dam to Dam swim is this Friday.  He's planning to do one more big workout this week, and then taper down for a fully energized day in Idaho on the water.  Good luck Chad, you're gonna do awesome.

Oh, I hit a pretty big milestone this past weekend at the swim camp.  1000 miles swam in open water in my lifetime.  Doesn't sound like a lot, considering I also just hit over 5000 miles total (both pool and open water swimming).

Given the 10,000 hour rule for being a master in your field of choice, which actually Malcolm Gladwell, the inventor of the 10,000 hour rule, clarifies as not being completely relevant to sport.   Anyhow, given a 30 minute mile, I've only achieved 2,500 hours of swimming.  In order to get the 10,000 hours, I'll need to quadruple my total so far.  At the rate of swimming 500 miles/year till I'm 80, I'll finally achieve that distance of swimming the circumference of the earth at the equator. Woah!  I wonder how many miles someone like Phelps has swam in his lifetime.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 2 of 2014 Swim Camp

This morning we all slept in a little because of last night's night swim.  We started our swim after breakfast and decided to swim across the reservoir to the other side.

Last night Gary arrived and this morning swam with Cathi.  Cathi hasn't swam more than a mile in open water before and this would be a new PR for her.  She's a backstroker so she swam the whole thing backstroke.  She didn't even wear goggles.  Problem is she could sight very well unless the kayaker was at her 7 oclock almost behind her so she could see her out of the bottom of her eye, as she was looking up.  She would keep her eyes closed rather than use goggles to keep the sun out.  Made for a very wavy course to say the least.  Karl's wife Char paddled for them.

Sarah, Joelle, Sue and myself all stayed right together with Renee Beard as the kayaker.  Sarah experimented with drafting off different people along the say.  She found that drafting off a big person (me), was more effective and could tell the difference than drafting off someone smaller, Sue or Joelle.  Makes sense.  A bigger boat will create a bigger wave and displace more water than a smaller one.  I suggested that for deer creek we work together and swim as a pack, taking turns drafting.  I think I may get a couple takers on that idea.  That would be fun.

After we got back Joelle and I turned back around and swam out to Cathi while Sarah paddled.  She had never paddled before and wanted to see what she was asking Steve, her husband to do.  When we got back to Cathi we swam backstroke together back to the finish.  I was glad for the change of stroke, it was fun.

After this swim we had lunch, broke camp and said our goodbyes.  It was such a fun weekend!

Total for the day: 3.25 miles

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 1 of 2014 Swim Camp

This morning's sunrise swim oute.
This morning I woke up at 0530 and met Sarah and Sue at the waters edge at the Lucerne Group camp site only about a 2 minute walk from our tent site.  The sun wasn't quite up yet but the sky was starting to brighten.  We decided to follow the shoreline heading towards Wyoming.

Sarah, Sue and me enjoying the sun rise.
The sun coming up was majestic as always.  We went out about a mile and Sarah wanted to be back in time to make breakfast for the waking children.  I agreed.  We all were about the same pace which was wonderful.  When we got back we enjoyed talking and eating breakfast together.
Lovely views from the water!

Steve was the camp chow champion!
The swimmers who were there at camp this year were: Karl Christen, Sarah Jones, Sue Frehse, Joelle Beard, myself.  This was a camp for families so the kids really enjoyed playing games together.
The campsite we had was awesome.  It was plenty spacious, and we didn't have any neighboring campers besides our group.  We had our own water entry which wasn't very hospitable to swimmers, but doable.  We had a fairly steep and narrow path to the water which we were able to get the kayaks down to, but the rocks getting in were sharp and slippery which made for
Kids clinic about to start
some minor accidents with the kids.

After breakfast we had our kids clinic.  Sophia, Ryan, Lucy, Jonas and Isaac started out planning to swim one mile.  Jonas quickly got cold and started to cry.  We were only 100 yards into it and he was already shivering.  I tried to encourage him, but he was done.  I told him to climb into the front of the boat and we continued to escort Isaac and Lucy, while Sophia and Ryan stayed with Cathi in her boat (which was also accompanied by Sue swimming alongside).

Me and my kids "Got Salt?"  Austin and Jacob had to work
and weren't able to join us at camp.
Sophia and Ryan were about the same pace while Lucy was quite a bit faster than Isaac, so Sarah escorted Lucy.  She was content to swim the course breaststroke, while Isaac resorted to backstroke.  I tried getting Isaac to swim front crawl, but he struggled keeping he face in deep enough to keep his legs high enough in the water to stay streamlined.  Something we will definitely work on at the pool this next month.  I had my GPS in the boat and was watching it carefully.  Once we got around the northern point from our camp it was a quarter mile.  We continued on and I yelled ahead to Sarah to have Lucy touch the next big rock around the corner which was the turn around point.  It was .52 miles from the start.  Perfect.
He started crying at about .6 miles into it.  He kept asking me up to that point, "Do you think I can do it Dad?"  and I also heard him mutter to himself, "You can do this Issac, you can do this!"  It made me laugh, he's such a determined kid.  He never touched the boat or asked if he could quit, he was gonna do this.  (Forget the fact that I gave him a financial incentive)

When we got around the point coming back, Lucy was already done.  Isaac continued on despite crying and exclaiming, "This was so much harder than I thought it was going to be", or "I'm so tired!  I
feel sick."  It made me realize why they don't let kids under 16 swim the English Channel anymore.  It's just too much to ask a kid to do.  But this was one mile and were almost done.  When we finished there was still a good sized group of kids and adults there and everyone cheered for him.  He was so proud of himself.  Quite an accomplishment for a 10 year old kid who really is still very much a beginner.  Next time, we'll get him to do the whole distance front crawl without stopping.

The afternoon we had our main swim with Joelle, Karl, Sue, Sarah and myself.  We all drove to "Swimmer's Beach", a short 5 minute drive from camp where there was a beach that was quite long and much more friendly to kids and swimmers entering/exiting the water.  We decided to swim along the shoreline back to camp and back.  We had two kayaks, one for Joelle, Sue Sarah and myself and Karl had his wife Char with him.

Sue and Joelle were going at a faster pace than I like to cruise at, but I decided to just stay with them.  The water was fairly calm unless a boater sped by and then we'd get a brief moment of wake, but it wasn't bad.  Joelle's Mom, Renee, paddled for us.  We stopped for a minute at our camp beach and then swam back to the start at swimmer's beach.  When I got there, Isaac asked me if I wanted to accompany him for a swim out to the no wake buoys and back.  A distance of about 300 yards round trip.  We did.  He did mostly breaststroke this time. I swam alongside him and continued to encourage him.  This time he didn't cry and enjoyed it.  It's so fun to watch him get excited about his potential and discover what really cool things he is capable of.

We let the kids play a little longer and then took of to return to camp, where Steve and I cooked hamburgers.  The potluck dinner was outstanding.  Lots of good food and we enjoyed it.  I attempted to get the movie put together, but realized I failed to install the right software for playing a movie.  I had to reinstall Windows on my machine and forgot to get everything I needed on it.  It wasn't a big deal, the kids enjoyed playing games and swinging the glow sticks around.

I collected up all the glow sticks for one final swim which Karl, Joelle, Sarah and myself did.  We swam out to the point and back twice which was a .40 mile swim.  Sarah had dark goggles on and relied on my left arm which had a glow stick stuffed under my watch.  Every stroke she'd either see my arm on the recover lit up, or under the water with my pull.

We stopped at the turnaround point and floated while watching the stars.  There were no external lights out and they were brilliant.  I suggested floating and then sculling in a circle while looking up.  It was unreal how beautiful the sky was!

Today was the perfect day.  Lots of swimming, fun and food!

Total for the day: 5.4 miles