Thursday, May 31, 2018

Deck Change- One piece suit for women

One of the joys of open water swimming is that you don't always have a place to change your clothes before or after. Before is easy, I've put on a suit in a car, or behind a tree. No sweat. But when you are cold and wet after, things can be harder.  Here's a tutorial for how to deck change, out of a one piece suit, if you are a woman.  Two piece suits have a similar sequence, and men's suits are easy, make a "skirt" from your towel and drop you drawers!

First step, you are in your suit, it is wet.  You take off the goggles and cap to make clothing removal and donning easier.

Then, pull the shoulder straps down, over your shoulders and into your armpits.

At this point, you can put on whatever top you want.  For me, a hoodie is always best after swimming. Keeps me warm and is easy to put on.

Now you pull your suit down as far as you can without exposing yourself to anyone.  This can be hard as the wet bathing suit can stick to your body. If you are built like me, getting it over your breasts can be a challenge. With my curves, pulling it over the belly is also a good step at this point. If you want a bra, this is your opportunity to put it on. With the sweatshirt over your shoulders, but your arms not yet in it, you can slip the bra on.

The next step is probably the hardest of all. Use your towel as a "skirt". I wrap it then roll the top.  If I were smarter, I'd get one of those towels with Velcro that we all used as cover-ups back in the 80's.  Or I'd make one.  Just haven't bothered yet. 

 Then pull your suit off, using the towel for modesty.  Yes, this can be a challenge to not drop the towel, or open it in such a way that you flash the world.  Take your time. A wet suit sticks, but you will get it off.

Now, keeping the towel as a modesty cover, pull on your pants.  My friend who shot these photos pointed out that I was showing the world that I go commando after swimming. That is true. If you want underwear, you can slip them on in this stage. I just don't bother.  Remove the towel and you are done!!

And a bonus "gear" photo. That silver circle is a changing mat from Rareform. I love this mat (and no, I don't get anything from them for saying this.) It keeps my feet dry and clean while I change. And then I put all the manky gear it in and pull the drawstring closed to make a carry case for the dirty wet gear.  Really handy AND it is made of a recycled billboard, so it has low environmental impact.

When closed it looks like this but with gear bundled inside.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Beauty and Reclaiming Time

This morning I was getting dressed in the locker room at the gym after my swim.  Two women were putting on makeup at the mirrors. One said to the other "what would happen if we were naturally beautiful."

I did a double take, then had to speak up. "You ARE naturally beautiful" I said. They agreed, laughed, and then went into a long conversation about how bad it is to have blonde eyelashes. They talked about mascara, tinting, extensions, weighing the pros and cons of each.

I wanted to scream.

You are naturally beautiful! Blonde eyelashes aren't bad or good, they just are! 

And really, how hard do we as women need to work to find something we hate about our bodies.  Eyelash color? Seriously? How inconsequential.

What would happen if we looked in the mirror every morning. Said "hey, beautiful". And moved on with our day? We could save 15 (or more) min a day, an hour and 45 min a week, 7 and a half hours a month-- almost a whole workday-- or 91.7 hours a year-- almost four whole days!!

What would you do with four found days? Probably not worry about the color of your eyelashes.

Let's see ourselves for the natural beauties we are, and spend those four days celebrating our bodies.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Synchro-- getting better

Synchro is HARD and FUN!! The synchro workout is once a week for two hours. We do about an hour of workout then work on our routine.  This week's workout looked like this:


  •  400 free with every 4th lap breast
  • 200 kick alternating flutter and dolphin
  • 3 x 75-- 25 swim, 25 kick, 25 pull in free, back and breast
  • 3 x 100-- side flutter, head up breaststroke, egg beater, and head first scull
  • 5 min stretching on the wall
  • crane, and vertical alignment practice
Then followed by an hour of working on the routine.  The routine is coming along. That's me furthest from the camera. As you can see, we are working on counts.

Swimming into Spring

My favorite aunt (just kidding, I love them all equally) lives just outside of San Diego. I try to get to see her about twice a year, because she's a awesome lady and she lives in a sunny paradise. I was down there the third week of March, just in time to see spring spring fourth.

For some reason, I'd never been to La Jolla.  This is a problem that I'm glad I have now rectified.  How could I possibly have missed Seal Beach? The sign warned against selfies with seals.

So of course I took one-- though you can see I did so from a safe distance.

I was also impressed to see the seals nursing their pups. I know that seals are mammals, but on some level it had never occurred to me that they would nurse. Yes, mammals nurse. I get that, I just never actually connected it in my head.  It was awesome to see them.

In La Jolla, it wasn't just the seals that were showing off their young.  These Cormorants were, as well as the Pelicans. Spring was busting out all over.

On the swimming front, I spent a lovely afternoon at the beach with my spouse, aunt and her companion. I got to swim while they sat on the beach.

And true to fashion, we had ice cream after!

Bonus photo from the trip-- this was in a bar we went to for trivia. Good advice for all!

And bonus bonus photo, with my historic fear of flying, I was proud to take this photo at take off from SEATAC.  That's my friend, Mt. Rainier.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Podcast infamy

A friend of mine from way back when, married a guy and they live here in Seattle.  He's working on starting a podcast focused on West Seattle. I swim in West Seattle. Hence, he made a podcast about my swim group, and he did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself.

That's Andy, drying off after he got knee deep in the water.

Listen here:
PCWS Episode 2.

And thank you to Andy for the mighty fine job portraying the NAS folks.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Thoughts about synchro and training

My synchro beginners series ended in November. Since then, we've been practicing with whoever can coach us on any given day.  However, with the new year starting, we have a new commitment to training, and the coaches have worked out a schedule with us.  S*** just got real!

Now practices are 2 hours long, include a lot of drilling, and some very specific coaching on skills.  There are, so far, three of us beginners who want to go on to compete, and we are talking about going to two invitational meets this spring, to get practice with competitions.

I've committed to synchro for this season, and am looking forward to the intensity of training, learning something new, and getting to be on a team.  It has been about a decade since I last seriously trained for an event, and I love the discipline of it.  I know this is going to be a hard path. Although I was worried about if training would take the joy out of swimming last year, it didn't. And I think that the training will be part of the joy of synchro!

This past week we were working on front layout to pike, and I was able to do it.  I hadn't been able to do it on prior attempts.  Seeing progress is fun.

In no time, we will be looking like this:

Photographic proof

I've been swimming all winter.  And this week an excellent and talented photographer came along with a partner to steer the canoe while he shot.  He got some excellent shots, including these of me.

I'm in the back there, and this is me swimming with my two best swim friends (BSF). We always goad each other into the water. And if I do crawl, I can keep up with them.  When the water is choppy and I do breast, I'm a bit slower.

Doing breast. I love that he got the background in this one to give perspective. And you can see the temperature, by the way the walker is dressed.

I wear the black gloves in the winter to keep my hands warm.  Without them I probably could only stay in about half as long.  This swim was 26 minutes.

This is probably my favorite of the set. I hate breathing on the left, but am glad I was practicing the bilateral that day!