Thursday, May 27, 2010

First cold swim of the year - 1 mile in 55 degrees

So Josh and Jim Hubbard were at Bountiful lake when I drove up. 55 degrees. Good thing I brought my wetsuit. Two other guys came too, Justin and some other guy. We all had wetsuits, but Jim and mine were armless wetsuits and Jim's even stopped at the knee.

I inched my way in and once I got to my belly button just dived in and started going. In about 5 strokes my wedding ring fell off!!!! I was so ticked. Usually it inches its way to my knuckle, but this time it just slipped off like a wet fish. I guess the cold water made my finger shrink or something. The water was so murky and I don't know how deep I was, but it was gone forever.

I treaded water for about 30 seconds mourning the loss, but there was absolutely nothing I could do at that point so I resumed my swim. By the time I got to the 1/4 mark at the Northwest corner of the lake, the tingling was gone. I noticed that Jim and Justin were no longer with us. I assumed that they were together and went back or something.

We started the swim to the south side and I was really enjoying the water. It didn't taste funny (it was too cold to stink). Kept on going to the Southeast corner and by this time I felt like I was having an out of body experience. It felt like my consciousness had also shrunk inside my brain. I figured I just had to swim the remaining 1/4 mile to the dock and get out. When I got near the algae covered cement boat ramp I didn't slow down much. I went right up to it and started climbing out. It was very slippery and lots of tiny sharp rocks that didn't feel good stepping on. Jim was there taking pictures with his high tech camera and I'm sure every shot that he took where I was in it, did NOT look good. Unless my face was in the water.

I'm sure I looked like a red plum that had just been shaken off a tree. I was shivering like crazy and the back of my neck was chaffed from the wetsuit. My jaw was in a locked position and I was staggering walking to my car. I quickly changed into dry clothes, started the car to get the heat going and shook like crazy. I couldn't talk, or see straight. I felt like the level of hypothermia this time was even worse than Lake of the Woods from last summer.

Once I warmed up I went over and talked with Josh and Jim for a minute. Then told them I was going home to take a hot bath. It's a good thing I waited to warm up a bit, cause I would have been pulled over for DUI. I just couldn't control my body and couldn't see straight.

I really need to do it again next week. A couple things to remember to do next time:

1) Put Vaseline on the back of my neck
2) Say a prayer
3) If I ever get a replacement wedding band (which it won't happen anytime soon), don't take it open water swimming!

I can't imagine doing that without a wetsuit. I really would have died.
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