So, in contemplating possibly doing a triathlon sometime this summer, I decided I'd need to work on my swimming--since I've never really been a swimmer--and whatever swimming skills I may have developed (during my one summer of swimming lessons) have certainly deteriorated over the years (especially while on a mission).
My good and friendly neighbors which inhabit the lower level of the house where I'm renting told me a couple weeks ago, upon my asking, that you could swim at the state park. Well, that's only 10 minutes from my house, so, upon getting a text message asking if I was actually going to do an upcoming triathlon that I heard about after FHE last night, which text message I received when leaving the neighborhood hoop where I was practicing my left-handed layup--I decided I'd first need to find out if I could in fact swim after a manner worthy of, well, anything even resembling a competition.
Now, at this point you may be asking yourself two questions. 1) Why the run-on sentences? and 2) What was Dallan actually thinking when he went to the Beach? In the first paragraph he claims to need to work on his swimming skills and in the second, he goes to the beach in order to somehow evaluate his swimming ability. In the court of law, perhaps that indicates a shifting story, a fabrication, a lie. In a blog, it represents the ability of the human mind to have various and mixed ideas and even multiple motives and thoughts about the same action. Writing is an art, and tonight, I am the artist.
After reading about triathlons on Wikipedia--since I was confused about the website where I saw confusing categories for triathlete prizes--I got directions to the State Park and changed into my swimming suit and walmart-exercise-shirt. Soon I found myself deep into the state park, driving 10 mph behind other naturalists (those who delve into nature). At 8:30 pm, this was a surprise to find other entering the state park--and on a Tuesday night. In any case, I arrived to the hill near the water and parked in the lot.
An intimidating cool-night breeze wisped up to where I walked and I knew the water would be cold (a confirmation of something I could have guessed). I knew it was coming from the water because it was kind of cold, and water makes things cold, which water was obscured by trees and playground equipment. Soon I made my way down onto the beach and started to wade in. It was cold. It rained today, so it was also kind of murky with debris along the bank. But in I went, one step at a time, parallel with the bank. After about 20 minutes of side-winding into the water, I was finally frustrated enough that I finished getting in and swam for about 10 minutes. I found out that I am not a good swimmer. After about 10 or 20 feet (maybe 5), I have to stop, stand up, and rest. After swimming my predetermined distance, I ran along the shore, back and forth in ankle-deep water, to simulate running after swimming, like in a triathlon. (The ankle-deep part was to make my run seem more heroic--think of Chariots of Fire.) Then, nearly exhausted, I swinged on a swing (which made me feel kind of childish) and kicked around my soccer ball to dry off before going home.
At the end of any major event, there is value in asking, well, what did I learn? I learned that I can't swim very well. If I were to do a triathlon, I'd probably not make it out of the water having finished the prescribed route. I also learned that if I can have a pretty good time playing at the beach by myself, who knows how much fun I could have if I had some friends or family along.