I haven’t seen the ass crack of dawn on a regular basis in a very long time. In high school I regularly got up at 0400 to make it to the pool in time to jump in by 0445. In college, the hours were slightly more reasonable – we had a 0530 start, with the pool being only a short walk away from the dorm. But partway through college, I suddenly stopped swimming completely due to a case of burnout that resembled the landing of a large meteorite into the Pacific Ocean. The result was a large crater smack in the middle of my swimming motivation that I couldn’t get around and I couldn’t cross. So I turned my back on swimming altogether, until one day, years later, I turned back around and realized the damn crater had filled with water.
So I swam across.
It has been a slow slog since then (much slower than when I was in college, to say the least) to get myself back into any kind of decent swimming shape. The motivation comes and goes, and I’ll improve for a few months, but then, especially in the dark, cold winter, it will drain away again and I’ll lose any sort of swimming fitness I built up.
So, with that in mind, it makes perfect sense that I would sign up for a ten mile swim, right?
Yes, ten miles. Swimming. All at once. Which means that sh*t just got real. As in, I need to train for this, seriously, between now and October. That’s right, that’s six whole months of swimming my ass off, figuratively and literally. Six months in which I can’t flake out and lose motivation or I’ll end up hating myself at about mile five of ten. I can’t half-ass this race like I’ve done on some races in the past few years. I can’t rely on a few thousand yards a week and muscle memory from when I was a teenager. Therefore, I will be once again getting up at the ass-crack of dawn on a regular basis in an attempt to wrangle my recalcitrant body into the sort of shape that can handle swimming for four hours plus at a time. In a river. With currents and chop.
I’m glad I have until October.
Here I go…