I have to say I was slightly nervous: this being my first time out in the lake my myself, post amputation. But I don’t know what I was worried about! Here’s how I did it, plus a few insights as to what it’s like to swim in open water.
As you know, I spent the Easter weekend in the lakes area, the goal being to get as much open water swimming in as I could. I live by the ocean, and although I have swum in the sea, I much prefer fresh water and there are enough lakes near by (ish) for me to choose from. I did find it strange when I first came here that you can just rock up wherever and go for a swim. you don’t need to plan, go with a group, or pay. This is nothing at all like England! So, since I hooked up with some local swimmers in Te Anau after the across the lake swim, I thought it was the perfect place to come back to. The added bonus was that they swim near a yacht club, which has a small jetty / pier. I took a look at it the first time I met them there and thought, that would be the perfect thing to help me get in and out and not have to rely on other people!
So, the aim this weekend was to work out how to get myself in and out unaided. AND… I cracked it! Although, swimming in open water all on your own is quite a different kind of mind battle when you do not have the safety of numbers. That is why I bought myself a swim buoy a few weeks ago when I was in Queenstown.
This weekend I have swum every day, got myself in and out, swum solo for the very first time, and walked further in one stint than I ever have before (3km). To say I am stoked is an understatement!
The Wakatipu Legend
This event was a few weeks ago. This topographic map, created from my Garmin data, shows just how far 3.8km is when you swim it in a straight line!
And.. just last night I finally got hold of a swim finish photo. Pretty proud of this! This was my 4th event as a para and once again, I was the only para there, in an able bodied race.
Here are the two media articles that were written about the event, featuring my story.
Easter weekend in photos
Here are the photos of my weekend in the lakes. Yep I had an absolute ball! I am so grateful to be able to get out and do at least some of what I love again at last.
Taking full advantage of the surroundings while I can, today I went for an open water swim ON MY OWN.. for the first time in my life! That’s bad enough on two feet never mind one! Afternoon walks finished my day.. in a way I simply never expected.
It’s the start of Easter weekend so I’m off up towards some lakes.. probably my last open water swim before winter sets in.. and the only other long weekend public holiday outside of Christmas/ New Year!