I’m registered to swim Save the Bay Swim for Narragansett Bay!

On July 20, 2013, I’ll be putting on a wet suit and swimming 1.7 miles of open water to help Save the Bay...

I’ve lived in the beautiful state of Rhode Island for 48 years, moving here at 12 years old with my family.  I’ve spent more hours than I can count enjoying the magnificence of Rhode Island’s beaches, bays and waterways… from beach dates as a teenager to water skiing behind my Dad’s boat to playing in the sand with my own four children to now riding waves with my 9 grandchildren.  I’ve been from coast-to-coast in the USA and to Europe, but I still find home and its shores the most beautiful of all.

I’m going to put it out there that I’m not a swimmer.  I know the mechanics of swimming, but I’m methodical and slow at it.  I’ve managed a Half Ironman swim (1.2 miles) and some sprint triathlon swims, but that’s it. This will not, though, deter me from a Bucket List item that I’ve been pondering for 37 years – the Save the Bay Swim for Narragansett Bay. I registered for this 1.7-mile fundraiser open water swim yesterday.

My heart is already pounding.

Founded in 1977, the Bay Swim is Save The Bay’s largest annual fundraiser, serving as a critical support to efforts to protect and restore the Narragansett Bay region. In 2012, the Swim raised a record-setting $355,000 through sponsorship and swimmer-driven fundraising. Swimmer gifts ranged from $400 to $5,225 and were the direct result of swimmers collectively engaging more than 4,000 donors in support of their swim! In Save The Bay’s formative years, the Swim helped keep the organization afloat. The Save The Bay of today is a legacy of those first brave souls who crossed the East Passage.

So, ahem… the East Passage, a 1.7-mile swim course running roughly parallel to the Newport Bridge; the finish in Jamestown around Taylor Point in Potter Cove…

OK.

So why, exactly, am I doing this?

My head is wrapped around a lot of reasons. First, I love Narragansett Bay and want it preserved for my grandkids and all future generations; second, it’s a Bucket List personal challenge that’s been sitting in my head for the 37 years the Save the Bay Swim has existed, and 60 seems like a good age to do something about it; third, I watch my grandkids swim, compete and cheer on their teammates, and I encourage their spirit, challenges and love of it all.  I want them to be as proud of me as I am of them…

My 12-year old granddaughter Taylor (leading the pack), with her relay members at New England Age Group Championships

 

My 11-year old granddaughter Maddie, concentrating on her 50-freestyle start at Southeastern New England YMCA Regional Championships

 

My 10-year old grandson Andrew swimming the 50-butterfly at New England Age Group Championships

 

My 8-year old grandsons (cousins) William and Jake (2nd from left) at the start of their Southeastern New England YMCA Championships record-breaking 100-yard Medley Relay

 

My 7-year old grandson Alex getting ready for his 25-freestyle race at Southeastern New England YMCA Championships
My 5-year old grandson Benjamin in all of his unbridled joy at the start of his 25-freestyle race at Southeastern New England YMCA Championships!
And the spectators… my 4-year old grandson cousins Henry and Dylan, cheering on their siblings and cousins and the team!

Yes, it’s my 9 grandkids who inspire me to try things, to do things that I don’t even know I can do.

I want my grandkids to know that there are big challenges, challenges like Saving a Bay, that inspire people to do more than they’ve ever thought they can do.

I want my grandkids to know that Grandma is just as courageous as they are each time they stand on a block and wait for the inner and outer challenges to kick-start a race, a goal, an accomplishment; the feeling of doing something for your team, for yourself and sometimes for even something as big as Narragansett Bay.

So… on July 20, 2013, I’ll be putting on a wet suit and swimming 1.7 miles of open water to help Save the Bay.  I am scared senseless and incredibly exhilarated all at the same time at the thought of doing this.  I think I can.  I think I can.

I know I can.  Can you hear my heart pounding!?

Me (left) and my daughter Jane Couto Govednik at the finish of our 1.2-mile Half Ironman swim. I’m smiling because I FINISHED it!

I have included my personal Save the Bay page here for encouraging words and/or even the smallest donation, because every penny helps to protect and restore our beautiful Narragansett Bay.

I’m registered to swim Save the Bay Swim for Narragansett Bay! was last modified: July 17th, 2017 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (6)
  1. YOU ARE AMAZING! I run with Team in Training and I am too scared to do a tri (or even just a tri-sprint). You amaze me!!! I hope that I am as fearless as you one day. Loving all your pics. Your grandbabies look like they come from a strong family- ready to lead the world as capable people. Knowing how to lead and cheer 🙂

  2. You are always so inspiring. You’re going to do great! I’m sure the grand babies have plenty of good tips.

  3. WoW! You are so brave, and setting an incredible example for your grandkids! Good for you! Now I think I know where they must get their super swimming skills!

  4. You are AMAZING and such an inspiration! No doubt that you are an amazing example and role model for your grandkids! Heck I’m proud of you and I don’t even know you!! 🙂

I’m registered to swim Save the Bay Swim for Narragansett Bay! was last modified: July 17th, 2017 by Sharon Couto