Nationals in Maine

I finished my last swimming event of the year! It was the big meet of our season – the US Masters Championship for artistic swimming – and it was in Maine! Wow, Maine 😍

It was my first Nationals meet in about 30 years and I had so much fun. As much as I freak out, I really love competing and I’ve missed it so much. My club had two teams and two duets competing. This is everyone:

Here’s my team:

We swam twice. For our tech swim, we’re required to wear black suits and white caps and we have to execute required elements.

For our free swim, we can kind of do whatever we want. Our routine includes a few lifts, one with a backflip. We also have custom made suits and lots of makeup:

After we finished our last swim, we took some fun photos in the warm up pool:

And we got third place!

I had such an awesome time and I really love competing. I mean, it really scares me and I get so nervous, but I love that feeling. It reminds me of when I did harp recitals/performances – it’s a very similar feeling.

After the meet, I stayed in Maine for a few days to relax, sleep, sleep some more, and do a bit of sightseeing. This was one of my best ideas ever. And I loved being a tourist by myself! I haven’t done a lot of solo travel so I didn’t know how I would like it. Turns out…I LOVE IT!

It helps that Maine is a magically beautiful place.

I hope I have the chance to visit Maine again.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this:

A belated happy Halloween! I borrowed the costume from one of my favorites, Steph, and isn’t it just the best?! Easiest costume ever.

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I Survived!

I’m so happy to report that I survived the Alcatraz swim!

And a little sad to report that I didn’t even see one shark. So disappointing. The swim was ok. If you like open water swimming, I think the event is probably great. It was very well organized and I felt safe the entire time. But I really don’t think I like open water swimming.

The morning started very early – it was dark and cold.

I think we (my cousin and I) got down to water at around 6:15 am. We got our caps and t-shirts, then sat in the car until we just couldn’t wait any longer…and then we stood outside with all the other crazy people. The swim starts at Alcatraz so everyone gets on a couple of boats to get out there. You don’t go back to the boats so you can’t take anything with you. So yeah, you’re just waiting in your wetsuit, cap, and goggles. No shoes, no shirt, no phone. We were basically naked.

We were split into two groups and loaded on to the boats. The sun had started coming up and it was a pretty nice ride out…until we starting thinking about jumping off the boat. They stop the boats and there are already a bunch of kayakers in the water to escort us stupid swimmers to shore. We got a brief recap of instructions and within a few minutes, people were jumping off the side of the boat.

We were told to jump off quickly and move away from the boat so that everyone can get in the water at almost the same time. There were 99 swimmers. They want everyone to get in pretty quickly because of the current and boat traffic. I jumped in, had a mild panic attack, couldn’t breathe for a while, moved away from the boat, turned over on my back, and did backstroke until I caught my breath. I’m very comfortable in the water so I was surprised that I kind of freaked out when I first jumped in. I think it was just the cold, the jumping, the anticipation of all of it.

There were definitely people who jumped in, freaked out, and were hanging on the side of the kayaks. I just turned over and started swimming. And swimming. And swimming. It felt like I was swimming forever and going nowhere. I was also zigzagging all over the place because it was impossible for me to swim in a straight line. OMFG.

Did I enjoy it? No. Would I do it again? Probably not. I was pretty bored and it was hard to get into a swimming groove because I had to constantly check where I was going. Am I so happy I did it? YES!!

It was also awesome to do the swim with my cousin (although we didn’t swim together). I think it would have been a better experience if I’d actually done some open water training, but I just didn’t have time.

You can see Alcatraz in the background in the picture below, but it’s a bit deceiving because we couldn’t swim straight to the beach from there because of the current.

It was still pretty cool to see Alcatraz from the beach, though. And I got this great t-shirt!

And now, I’m in Maine for the US Masters Nationals Artistic Swimming Championship! Yep, more swimming. I arrived last night and spent the morning at the pool cheering on a couple of duets that are swimming from my club. These are three of my teammates:

My team swims tomorrow and Sunday. Am I freaked out? Yes, of course I am. Pretty much losing my sh*t every 30 minutes or so. Woohoo!

Wish us luck!!

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Just Keep Swimming

Damn, once again, it’s been forever since I posted. Let me catch you up: I’ve been swimming. And working. And going to therapy. There you go. Talk to you next month!

Oh and I also turned 43. It was a pretty tame birthday and I enjoyed it. I had brunch with my mom, which was so fun to do on a Wednesday!

I really am ready for retirement. Oh and I changed my hair! Back to the dark side.

My birthday was on Wednesday, but I had an artistic swimming performance on Thursday that was freaking me the f*ck out. I was a bit preoccupied with swimming and I also don’t really give a sh*t about birthdays. Yours or mine. #truth

Anyway, the stress of swimming really messed up my sleep and pretty much everything last week. OMFG. Yeah, such a fun hobby! Damn. Fortunately, my team had it’s best swim yet, which was kind of a miracle.

We head to Nationals at the end of the month and we’re pretty excited to go. Mostly because it’s in Maine, but also because we can stop practicing so much. LOL.

And because I haven’t been swimming enough, I thought I should sign up for an open water swim race next weekend. I’m flying to San Francisco for about 24 hours to swim from Alcatraz to the shore (and hopefully not get eaten by a shark). It’s about a two-mile swim and I should be ok, but honestly, I haven’t done a long distance swim in a while…just a lot of synchro. Oh and I’ve never done an open water race. Super cool.

I’m still loving my studio and no car life. Tot is also living his very best life. He got this stuffed toy in his PupBox and it scares me how excited he was about it.

Yep, we’re definitely madly in love.

Speaking of being in love with my dog, therapy is going well! I’m not dating and I should probably write a post about that. It was so difficult not to get back into dating after the last break up (with the man-child). I didn’t realize what a great distraction it is. Since I’m not using dating as a distraction (or any other unhealthy way to cope), I’m now having to just SIT WITH MY FEELINGS! HOW MESSED UP IS THAT??? Super rude. But I really am enjoying being single and not ready to mingle. It’s nice to do whatever I want all the time. Even if that is just taking a million naps between swims.

Ok, that’s it for now. Be back soon-ish. Whenever. Love yourself. Get a little hippie woo woo.

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