Voyage of the Endurance

It seems that taking time off swimming is much more conducive to stress and exhaustion than regular swimming ever can be. My period of idleness and morbid reflection is finally over.

Having only swum very sporadically since Indy, I had a hard time dragging my atrophied body to the Ohio St Beach this afternoon. With the aid of a tall skinny latte, I finally made it and set up a base camp beside the little walkway that leads down to the water.

The weather in Chicago has been pretty ordinary of late. We’ve had nothing but drizzle and 40-50’s temperatures for the last week. The skies were very grey and the air temperature was 54degrees. The water was like glass and registered 62-63 degrees right by the shore (it’s colder out further).


I set off feeling like a million bucks! I wore a nice orange suit and my favourite pirate cap. I did something to my neck a month or so ago while mountain biking and can’t even lift my head to sight. That hurt a bit but at least sighting to the side is ok for Ohio St.

About 50 yards short of the half mile turnaround things changed, and I went from feeling great to feeling terribly cold in the space of about a minute. Yikes! I had to get back to shore as soon as possible. Although I was parallel and quite close to the shore there was no chance of getting out as the ladders have been removed. Also, running down the bike track in a wet suit in 54degree weather may not have been a good idea 🙂

Six months ago 62 degrees would have felt tropical, but it seems going from 70 degrees to 62 in the space of 6 days was enough for my body to lodge a protest.

Although I was trying to sprint, I started to feel a bit lightheaded and my stroke was falling to pieces. The last 10 minutes really sucked and I had to look at my HTFU wristband for comfort. Rapidly slipping into delirium, I had visions of Jimby freezing and wet in the wilds of Idaho. I felt certain I was going to die in about 4 feet of 62 degree water, and that would be a highly embarrassing way to go. Better to be eaten by a bear!

Somehow I made it to the beach and put on as much clothing as I’d brought with me.


Of course just as I was nearing the shore the rain started again and was torrential by the time I reached basecamp. Soaking wet, shivering, raving and hyperventilating, I made it to the toilets at Navy Pier. Camped out in the handicapped stall, I dried off and drank some hot coffee out of my little Stanley. Still shivering, I made a run for for the car through the crowds of Navy Pier. I’m pretty sure I pushed a bride over on my way. After 10 minutes in the car with the heater on, I was on my way, laughing.


No part of this blog is exaggerated. I never exaggerate.
Also please forgive the terrible writing and complete lack of grammar. The blood still hasn’t returned to my brain and probably never will.