Thursday, April 5, 2012

Teamwork

This evening I met Josh, Goody and Chad out at the marina.  We met a couple at the marina visiting from Norway.  Their hostess told them "Nobody swims in the Great Salt Lake."  We proved her wrong.  They stayed and watched us all get lubed up and headed out of the marina.  We all went out to Black rock.  The water felt great.  It was a little choppy out there, but mostly swells.  On the way to black rock I was having fun getting rocked about by the water.  I enjoyed it cause Josh was to my left the whole time and we were going at the exact same pace and it was comforting to have him there.  

I know it's completely unreasonable but when I'm on my own, I sometimes wonder if the only reason why nobody has discovered some prehistoric underwater monster in the Great Salt Lake is that nobody has spent much time swimming in the water.  And that it would be just my luck to have this scientific wonder eat me, and have it named after me cause my death resulted in its discovery.  Anyway, when my buddies swim with me I don't have any of those goofy thoughts. 

When we got to Black rock I broke it open and got my drink and waited for Chad and Goody to arrive and I gave Goody his drink which I was stowing in my SSD.  I was a little chilled and was shivering a little when they got there.  I was eager to get on my way so I could reheat myself.  I took a temp reading with my watch and it read 57.6­°F.

On the way back I looked back and the three of my swimming friends were hanging out about 70 yards back.  I was a little cold and thinking should I keep going or wait up?  Then I saw them all get to it and started swimming together in a row.  I figured they were doing a drill where they would swim in line or something so I joined in the line once they got  close.  Josh and myself within a couple minutes pulled ahead again and then I Josh stopped briefly.  Goody yelled out "Stay with Josh, right next to him!"  I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I swam right next to Josh for a good while.  Then around 250 yards from the marina opening Josh started doing breaststroke.  

Anyway the prolonged cold water exposure had gotten to him and we had to work together as a team to ensure that we all had a safe swim.  It all ended well and I learned a valuable lesson.  Hypothermia can happen to the best of us and nobody is immune from it.  Doing polar plunges is one thing, you're in, and you're out.  But spending an hour or more in water that is in the 50's can be even more dangerous.  Your body core cools down to potentially dangerous levels, whereas with polar plunges you're not in the water long enough to really make a huge difference to your core body temp.  Your hands go numb, but with water in the 50's your fingers and hands are fine and it's misleading cause your core is where the problem is, not your hands.  Here is Josh's thoughts on today's swim.  

I was really impressed with how Chad took charge of the situation and asked me to sprint ahead and get a car warmed up and get a dry towel taken to the marina opening for Josh when they get there.  Goody and Chad stayed with Josh and ensured that he made it safely to dry ground.  He got warmed up and all is well.  Until the water gets above 60 it really is wise to stick together.  

Chad is an EMT so he didn't mess around in identifying the symptoms of hypothermia and took the whole thing seriously.  We were very lucky to have him there.  I'm excited cause Chad is wanting to go out again on Saturday and it's always nice to increase the size of the group of regular open water swimmers who want to swim together!  Cause there is truly safety in numbers.

Josh and I pooled our money and bought a SPOT GPS which will come in handy throughout the many years of our adventures.  He took it in his SSD and it tracked our swim.  

Also, this week is Yacker week.  Open Water swimmers really need to "show the love" for their support crew and this year Lucy definitely takes that role.  Although I'm sure Jacob and Austin still have many more opportunities in the future, Lucy is the one who is showing great interest in helping me out with support.  So tomorrow I'm taking her on a date.  Just me and Lucy going to see "Redemption".  It's a great film and one that I'm especially passionate about.  

Total for today:  2.2 miles in 1:14 


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