I have always been a water person. I love being on the water, in the water or under the water. Last year I was able to do a relay race with fellow triathlon teammates who did the San Francisco Olympic Club’s Trans Tahoe Relay, which is a relay race across the width of Lake Tahoe from Sand Harbor to Dollar Point, about 11 miles. The relay consists of a team of six swimmers, with each swimmer swimming 30 minutes until all swimmers have swum, then each swimmer swims 10 minutes until the race is over. The race is swum with no wetsuit in 60-degree water!
The race has 200+ teams and the start is quite hectic, kind of like the start of a triathlon swim. Swimmers are pushing and jockeying in the water during the first few hundred yards. Ultimately it thins out and swimmers get into a pace that works for them.
Since I have a boating background I was made the de facto captain, driving the boat all day. To some this may be work and you may miss out on all the beer drinking afterwards since you are legally responsible for everyone onboard. But to me it is pure joy, something that is hard to explain the feeling of being in control on the water.
We had so much fun last year (even though we weren’t even close to finishing first) that we registered to do the race again this year. I am fortunate to be able to participate in a personal challenge like this. I have the health and time to be able to commit to training and to take the time off to do the race. I believe it is important to continue to keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and to surround yourself with positive thinking people who can challenge you and keep you accountable. This is where personal growth lies within.
This year we were much more organized than last. We had an actual chart and compass heading to use instead of trying to sight land 9 miles away. We know what to expect this year, which highlights the importance of preparation, planning, and experience. We were able to drop 20 minutes off our time, finishing in 5 hours and 9 minutes. You may think that is quick, but to put it in comparison, first place completed the race in about 3 hours and 20 minutes. But the thing is, we had a blast doing it, regardless of where we finished. We registered for the event, committed to the training, and executed the race all while having fun.
Once again, this highlights that anyone can accomplish a personal challenge with commitment, consistent training, and a support group to hold you accountable and to share the experience with.