First event: Duke’s Waikiki Mile Ocean Swim

@postaday 220; #postaday2011.

For all intents and purposes, the Duke’s Waikiki Mile Ocean Swim is a race. Sigh. For me, it’s the first time I’ll have ever done a rough-water swim event, and I just want to finish. It would be great to finish before DFL, but if anyone finishes DFL, it could very well be me.

I’m not being humble here. When I swim with the masters at The Oahu Club a couple times a week, I do alright. Most of the time, though, I’m not leading the pack and I’m not in the middle of the pack. No, I’m usually the last to touch the wall.

I tell myself that at least I’m in the water, at least I’m making an effort to swim as much as everyone else here, but, I don’t have to win all the time. My husband, who is right in noting how competitive I can be, might not realize that I give myself permission to be the 52-year-old mom in the pool who thinks it’s OK that 30-something and 40-something men and women want to touch me out. Yay, them!

LIVESTRONG. HTFU. Kid2 thinks HTFU should be STFU. But H stands for HARDEN. Get it? Haha.

Because my coaches are so fantastic, and because one of them is conducting a free ocean-swim clinic at the beach fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village Sunday, I feel as though there are some advantages under my swim cap with the Kamehameha Schools logo on the sides. They are so positive and kind. I’ve had swim team coaches who were brutal and merciless. Winning met everything, and it seemed if they didn’t spend part of a practice session in the “demoralization phase,” they probably felt as though they weren’t doing their jobs. Yes, I swam on swim team in the 60s. Need I say more?

Not that winning is second fiddle to any of the masters coaches or the other swimmers. I envy those who are so fast and those who win. I wish I could be an age-group winner. But to be so ambitious means that those goals might hurt more when they are dashed against the rocks. Guarded optimism. Let’s see how bad it can be. Will I get scratched, kicked and pushed under? Maybe. Will it test my ability to cope and stay calm if I’m caught in a pod of furiously fast swimmers? It will. When I crawl up on the sand and through the chute to turn in my electronic ankle bracelet will I tell myself never again? I might. But I also might surprise myself. There’s only one way to find out.