I Survived and loved it!
Just got back from my first OW swimming experience with TI coach Leslie Thomas and absolutely loved it!
We spent about 1 1/2 hours talking about what to expect, a map of the Park, landmarks etc...And then we suited up and went on down to the water.
The first thing you feel is a burning sensation when you step into water that is 53 degrees! For those of you who have swam in Aquatic Park in San Francisco you know what I'm talking about. At first I stepped back out and for a quick moment thought (what the heck am I doing here?!) But I wasn't going to be intimidated by a body of water! So, I sucked it up and walked back in and then moved further out till I was chest deep, all the while moving around breathing in deep and exhaling through my mouth.
Next we moved on to drills, sighting, then breathing drills (rolling a bit further than I normally would because of the choppy water), and finally full stroke. Well, I'm no Terry Laughlin, but I did have a decent stroke and stayed straight throughout the whole swim, kept my target in sight and figured out how to use the current to my advantage. It drifted right and I swam slightly left and with my two-beat and glide I stayed on track pretty well.
After about 30 minutes I told my guide I was getting pretty winded and called it quits, she smiled and said "good job" and that we were gonna head in at that moment anyway. I swam back to shore and got out remembering that Leslie said that getting out might be even more intense, but for me I didn't shiver, I didn't have chattering teeth, no shakes...nothing.
The excitement of having finally swam in the S.F. Bay and survived was truly incredible! I'm looking forward to swimming at least once a week and every other Wednesday until October is truly heaven. Those on this forum who have said that OW swimming is the ultimate weren't kidding now the pool seems so boring lol!