The Dart 10k is a swimming variant of the Marathon.

“Islands within the streams. This is what we’re doing. …” 3 women inside golf doing Karaoke sounds like the worst model that is Car Share. “No one else. What can we do?” Being driven to the beginning of the Dart 10k swim, we were painstakingly in tune. “Sail away with me, to another world.” “I must say,” said John, my friend’s husband, that was the driver. “I wasn’t expecting it to start like this.”

When registering the day before, we’d met a few swimmers whose nerves were flashing. “Don’t even think about doing it without earplugs” was the advice of one. “I’m probably going to get hypothermia,” was another. “I don’t know if I can do it.” “Positive mental attitude,” I said, since shutting down, “will really help.” We then met Jo, whom I appreciated. “If you’re having a moment,” she told me, “stop, float on your back, have a little sing and think of Beryl Burton who beat all the men in a cycling race by just keeping on going.” I needed “Keep on going,” much more than “I can’t do it,” and I knew the song I would perform.

Saturday morning at noon, the late-night bananas were thrown into the jetty, and we were set to take on the swimming portion of the Marathon. Seeing the stream of swimmers with yellow caps who didn’t break a step as we walked from the jetty to the water was quite an experience. “That was you at your bravest,” John told me. When the water that was 13C struck my face, and I received the first cold swish across the back of my suit, I didn’t realize we were brave. I didn’t feel it. I was embarrassed. I had been so concerned about whether I could do it that I’d neglected to consider the cold. I won’t be able to; I thought it was too cold. It’s normal – I was tempted to swim but figured I wouldn’t. “Islands in the stream,” my brain sat quietly. Sometimes it’s best to put aside thoughts and begin singing.

The first station for food, between three and four kilometers, was surprisingly quick. I sucked a few jelly-filled fudges into my mouth and walked forward, not feeling any colds or bores. The training swims were bland, boring was what I had been thinking – but by the time I got here, I’d created bacon Fudge. The water was gorgeous and filled with people focusing on their job. Oh, it was Meg. Hi Meg, How are you doing? “I’m OK. You OK?” she inquired. “Yeah, thanks, I’m great,” I replied.

A little over an hour later, I didn’t know of the time – I was not quite so good. A couple of bigger, faster, red-headed guys pounded me, and I experienced an instant flash of “Do you MIND?” I’m sure that when people splash across you that they usually do not mean to, it felt unkind and masculine at the time. However, moods and emotions moved quickly as the river swam. As I rounded the corner, struggling to find how two other red hats stopped and turned. I could glimpse a pontoon ahead of me and swimmers hanging from it like tadpoles hanging around the piece of bacon. “Next feeding station!” they announced. “OH, BRILLIANT,” I said. “BRILLIANT!” and set off toward it.

The river grew more robust, and the pontoon swung up on me too quickly. Then I attempted to grasp a hold, but it was a struggle. The swimmers poured in, all looking for the exact grip. “I can’t do it,” I thought. “I’m going to get pushed under the pontoon.” The Fear tried to grab a grip. However, I couldn’t allow it to move. “I’m off,” I told nobody in particular. After ten minutes, I felt hungry and regretted not having some sweets. I laid on my rear for a moment. I was thinking about Beryl Burton as well as bacon Fudge. “That won’t happen to us and we got no doubt,” I sang, perhaps out loud. Sorry if that’s the case.

The last mile was quite long. I took a wide arc. However, I eventually came across a white marquee on the field and saw the. What an excellent white marquee, even though you were slow. After ten minutes, I was swimming through dense sludge and saw John wearing my warm swimming coat. What a wonderful surprise, John, with my warm jacket of water. I took my timing chip from the water and was presented with hot chocolate that was the most delicious I’ve ever had in a souvenir tin.

If you’re looking for joy, check out the Outdoor Swimming Society’s photo stream during the weekend. TLookat our faces – happy, muddy, smiley and open, happy and exhausted, and happy. (Look at me; I’m thrilled. It’s me.) The photos depict the bonds of a community formed through shared effort and emotions, and our typical denominator isn’t age or shape, size, or strength but those beautiful emotions. We were united in our steps. I’m happy that I completed the boring workouts. It was much more challenging than swimming. Fortunately, I have a training partner who kept me on track and sane. It was beautiful to have assistance from John and my pool buddies. And I’m a genius who me up with bacon Fudge. What a fantastic journey.

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