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
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