Couldn’t rest before the race for worrying. Can’t rest after the race for remembering. From the time I entered the water to the time I crossed the race finish line was a blur… Like being on Valium. For the swim event, we were herded like cattle through corrals in groups of hundreds and then we jumped into the water eight at a time. Thank goodness the water event was a quick start or I might have chickened out. As we left our corrals and approached the dock, at least six people were on deck directing us to “move quickly ladies….move….. move…stand on the edge of the platform….jump.”
I placed my hand over my nose, jumped in and swam freestyle until I got tired then flipped over to a backstroke for 200 meters… just like I had been taught by Megan. At the 2oo meter mark, I grabbed onto a kayak and rested without even remembering the 200 meter swim to get there. The kayaker told me and three others that we could stay and catch our breath as long as we needed. His comments and demeanor were so gentle and reassuring and I was bolstered in knowing that I could complete the race. I thanked him and took off for the next 200 meters. I visited two more kayakers during my 800 meter swim, and each one was as wonderful as the first. Wish I could thank them again.
Megan showed up in my life about a week-and-a half prior to the triathlon when I was still wavering and afraid of swimming in open water. She is a young lady staying with my neighbor and in conversation I found she was also a swim coach and she immediately offered to help. In one session, she bolstered my confidence in my backstroke and taught me to swim for 200 meters and rest followed by another 200 meters and rest. She explained that the first 200 meters meant I had completed 1/4 of the race. The second 200 meter mark meant I had completed 1/2 of the race and so on. That is what got me through! They say there are no coincidences, and I am absolutely certain that she was put on my path at just the right time.