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English Channel 2017

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While our arrival to Bend with new beginnings was exciting it may have been poorly timed from a swimming point of view. Yes, I know times are crazy with a global pandemic and all but I only swam twice in the local pool before the govenor closed all pools. C’mon on man~give me a break. How are we suppose to meet new friends, stay in shape and relieve stress? It was positioned as a two week “freeze” however we know what that means.

I sulked for a bit and then reverted to my early pandemic mode of core exercises and walking. Not exactly what I was hoping for but what was I going to do? This time was different. Opening day of ski season was right around the corner. I had something to look forward too!

It was a big day and the first time I had skied in four years and nearly 45 years (yikes) since I had a seasons pass at Mt. Bachelor. I learned how to ski at Mt. Bachelor so perhaps it was a homecoming of sorts. It became quite apparent that my upper body strength and lack of a kick didn’t translate well to skiing. While the act of skiing came back naturally my legs were on fire. That’s ok because it may be that skiing was going to become my primary form of cross training during and extended “freeze”.

Yes! A “thaw” in the “freeze” was announced. Pools could now open~that is only outdoor pools. Fortunately, likely the only outdoor lap pool in Central Oregon or dare I say in all of Oregon is two minutes away from our house. Reservations are required and it’s competitive. I’ve played that game before and I’m pretty good at getting a lane. It’s a two lane lap pool with recreation space for free swim. A wide 8-10 lane pool with a pace clock would be better but…I will take this!

They say its 25 yards however I am not so sure as my stroke count seems off and there isn’t a pace clock to check my times. The times I see on my watch are bit horrifying. I keep saying thats ok at least I am in the water. There have been some cold mornings deck changing and getting in the water. Nasty winds have simulated quite nicely fighting a strong current. A post swim hot tub is always a nice reward!

The other cross training activity has been one session of cross country skiing. I did not find this sport swimmer friendly-too much coordination. I fell at least three times on flat ground (hard). I even broke my pole when trying to get up! I was comedic relief for Courtney, for sure. I will give it a few more shots as I need to pull it off with a bit more grace and style. In addition I drove 3 hours and then back to get a seasonal cross country rental.

The vaccine is finally here so there is light at the end of the tunnel for our world and country and that a sense of normalcy is on the horizon. Looking forward to more pools being open, no reservations, multiple people per lane and the chance to swim and meet new friends in Oregon!

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