Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meeting Esther Stokes

This evening I met Jim at the Marina, and boy was it snowy!  It was just what every extreme winter swim should look like.  Just last Saturday the picture didn't look like a winter swim.  But today, it definitely did!

Always happy to see a newcomer!
Jim and I were just about to get in when we saw a new swimmer come down the ramp.  We met Esther Stokes.  She did the GSL 1 mile last summer, and the Deer Creek 5K.  She wanted to try this and boy what a day to start!  Jim took a temp and it read 34.7degrees (1.5c).  There was about 3 inches of snow on the ground and on the deck.  I cleared a small part for my clothes after getting out, and talked a little with Esther before getting in and joining Jim who was already half way to the other end.

I swam as fast as I could to the other side and I remember feeling little pin pricks in my finger tips and it felt like I was bleeding through the holes where the pin pricks were.  Throbbing in beat with my heart.  Didn't hurt, just felt weird.  When I reached the other side, quickly turned around and swam back.  I saw Esther start to wade in and looked at my watch: 4:15 elapsed since I started.  When I got out I didn't stop my watch, but noticed that it read 5:38. I walked through the snow to my clothes and started to dry off and get my shirt on.  It was terrible.  My hands were absolutely useless.  I finally got dressed and Esther was having trouble.  She said she was getting out even though she didn't hit the 5 minute goal.  I looked at my watch when she go out and it read 7:15.  She was in for three minutes exactly.

I just reviewed Goody's original guidelines for earning a cap, and I just realized that we are now at the point where you only have to be in the water for 2 minutes.  The water was definitely under 35 degrees, so she earned a cap.  I feel bad for not realizing this at the moment, so I owe her a WFPBC Cap!

Jim, Me and Esther
I helped her carry her bag to her car.  I could barely get the keys out of my pocket to unlock the car.  When I got in I sat there with the heat on high.  My stop watch was still going.  I was shaking and the hardest part were my hands again.  But I controlled my breathing and kept my mind off the pain.  After 30 minutes of sitting in the car, I finally felt warmth in my fingertips and felt stable enough to drive.  Jim came over and I rolled down my window.  Shook his hand and said, "Next time we get in will be under medical surveillance."

Looking forward to next Tuesday!  If anyone wants to help volunteer, I'd like to get someone else besides me and Josh to paddle.  We'll provide the kayaks, but you'd need to paddle out along the course keeping an eye on the swimmers.  And stay relatively close to them to provide reassurance.

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