Thursday, June 30, 2016

Swim Defiance 2016

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

It was rough, bumpy, swirly, and choppy, and there was a current that made you pay close attention so that, in your swim from the south end of Vashon to the destination of Owen Beach 3k later, you SIGHTED. A lot! And pointed yourself 30 degrees east even though your destination was south. Because that was the hand Mother Nature dealt you. A boat horn sounds and what's next ? You swim for your damn life. Soon, the cluster of competition is spread out over a large swath of water, the water is too tumultuous to see any support kayakers or even the finish line, but you trust, and you go, and you know that all those current-y, choppy Sound swims that came before this have conditioned you well.

First 20 minutes - adrenaline. Heading face first into a huge jellyfish, just a few strokes in, bristling at its feet-long tentacles takes my breath away. I scan for a pace swimmer. Try to get a fast rhythm and chill the hell out mentally/heartbeat-wise. It just happens.

Next 20 minutes - sight. Quick peek to see if there are any swimmers near you (nope not anymore, some sprint ahead, others fall behind). They're around but one can't see them because of the conditions. A distant support kayaker looms and a very large sailboat is crossing 30 yards in front of lonesome me. Feeling a very unorganized flow of water beneath me. It doesn't know what it's doing with wind and chop going SE and current sucking west/SW. Dig deep. Stay the course, to quote a republican.

Last 20 minutes - the finish marker is starting to look closer! Push. Dig deeper. Swimmers way to the west of me are coming toward me at a fierce clip and I fight to keep my position. At the end I hesitate  a few seconds when I see a yellow buoy, unsure if I'm on the right side of it. The volunteer ushers and assures me I'm on course and says to bring it in no prob!

One hour and six minutes in, I finish. And you know what? It was great. And I shaved a minute off my 2014 time (which was much calmer that year). 12th overall. I'll take it.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016


I've always tried to be a fair, rational and even generous person. There will always be totally irrational people in this world who, rather than reason and invite discourse or compromise (due to discomfort, greed or some other insecurity), will overstep boundaries, unjustly take what is not theirs, lie, and try to justify their actions.

When my judgment day comes, I will die knowing that I tried consciously to live justly, honestly (likely to a fault), lovingly and that I always tried to give more than I took from this world. Life is not fair in general. There will always be charlatans. Abusers. Bullies. Liars. Cowards. People on the take. Those who would even distort truths for pity, financial gain or ego. I never had the expectation that just because I can lie on my back, someone else should put a roof over my head and feed me (or my offspring). I have always worked hard - either employed in the corporate world or self-employed. I followed rules and laws. I finished college while working hefty hours. Paid my share of taxes and not laid claim to someone else's. Didn't pretend to earn less to pose as a victim in the system. Never defrauded others. Never got lost in drinking, tobacco or drug abuse, or used it as a daily crutch. I've loved my children to the end, even when it felt less than reciprocated. I'm also not about to say my sins are more righteous than another's, or that I haven't put the hurt on someone by my actions of going my own way or saying what I feel with blatant honesty, but I am saying I've never tried to consciously screw another over for a piece of their pie or hurt someone for sport.  I've tried to do the right thing.

Doing things the right way isn't necessarily the easy way. But try. Make the effort. Don't cop out. Don't make excuses or throw someone under the bus because you're too afraid to face an uncomfortable situation.

I'm standing tall and strong. There is nothing to fear when you live honestly. Since when has an uphill effort ever stopped me before? Capricorn, rising.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Funnest sport

Meet the women who are athletes, moms, lawyers, doctors, leaders, thinkers, farmers, volunteers, go-getters and world-changers. They never met a challenge or adventure they didn't like. They do good things in and out of the water. I am privileged to spend time with them all and share in some of those wild adventures. All in health and camaraderie, and always in gratitude. Strong ladies, strong bodies and wills!

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