Swimmingly Well!

When I asked Jane to join me for an open water swim, to take place early Saturday morning, I hadn’t quite thought it out. I guess I was still in summer mode during the asking. So when I awoke on Saturday morning to a cool icy breeze whipping my bedroom curtains around, I panicked pondered about the plan.

Barry was not so wary. Why? He wasn’t swimming. Ha! I crawled from beneath my cozy comforter and slipped into my waiting flip-flops. Even the flip-flops were frozen. I checked my phone to see if maybe… just maybe… Jane had called to… to… to… cancel?


I slipped into my bathing suit, shivering in a teeth-chattering kind of way. I threw on a heavy sweatshirt and sweatpants, grabbed my swim bag and wet suit and reluctantly headed to the car where Barry was already waiting. It didn’t seem that he was going to let me out of this scheduled swim. I re-checked my phone to see if there might be a message from Jane.


Off we went. I turned the heat in the car up to 75 degrees. Barry remarked about the sun and how nice it was getting outside. OK. But you’re not swimming. Jeesh. We drove the half hour or so to Barrington Beach. I feel very comfortable at this little beach because we lived right around the corner for 20 years… all during the childhoods of our children. We flew kites at this beach and collected shells and dipped our toes and learned to skip rocks and watch our neighbor catch blue fish when they were running. I carried both Audrey and Jane in blankets and Snugglys along this beach… keeping them warm and cozy on mornings such as this one.

But I had never swam at this beach on a cold, breezy September morning. As we entered the parking area, I looked for Jane’s car. Ooops. She wasn’t there. Maybe she left a message on my phone?

Nope. Within seconds of arriving, Jane’s car appeared. Jane had about the same smile I had. We call it THE DADDY SMILE… like, you’ve got to be kidding. Barry is famous for this smile and all of our kids recognize it, but Barry didn’t have “the smile” today.

Nope. He was all excited to see “his girls” do their open water swim while he spotted us from shore.

Jane pulled up beside us. She had brought her doggies with her… Ryder and Seth and Tanzy. Ryder and Seth were happy just to jump around on the sandy shore, but Tanzy was ready for a swim. Jane has always been amazed that her Ryder, a Lab, is content to be near the water rather than in it. Seth just likes to be anywhere with people and sounds and activity. Tanzy… well, she wants to SWIM. While Jane and I were getting our wet suits on, Tanzy was yelping with excitement. She has been swimming with Brian, Jane’s boyfriend, since he got her as a puppy. She literally could not wait for us to get ready. This sped the process along a bit… and even kind of forced us to follow through with our swimming plan. How could we let Tanzy down?

Then we were in the water. And it was Lovely. Silky. Beautiful. The sun danced in and out of the wispy clouds. The tide was high, so we were over our heads fairly quickly. The water was clear enough to see the bottom through my goggles. I saw shells and skittering crabs and swaying seaweed. I heard squawking seagulls and the sounds of their wings overhead. I could see Barry following us along the beach… deserted but for him and the seagulls.

I could hear Jane and her beautiful swimming strokes. So, so, so, so much faster than mine. And I could see Miss Tanzy, keeping time with Jane… no, actually pacing Jane as she sailed through the water like a little sailboat full-sail.

The dreaded swim had turned into a most perfect morning. Not even the cold could penetrate the happiness.

I guess Barry knew this all along!

Swimmingly Well! was last modified: September 13th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (5)
  1. Wow, I admire the both of you – not just for what you are training to do but, for getting into that water on that day! And I sure wish I could get just one of my dogs to swim like Tansy! Isn’t it great though that when you start out to dread something it ends up turning into a wonderful experience. What a beautiful area as well!

  2. And once again, you did the right thing. I had no doubt that you would. You just keep inspiring me. I start a new challenge at the Sisterhood Wednesday. I hope to be as dedicated as you.

  3. You are so dedicated and an amazing, beautiful women. You have the strength like no other. I love your decription of being in the water. I’m with Nancy…YOU inspire me!

Swimmingly Well! was last modified: September 13th, 2010 by Sharon Couto