Into the Drink

I dare you to find a more attractive picture of a specimen of humanity than this here likeness.Guess who swam across a lake at 7:00 this morning and now has algae-looking stuff in unmentionable places? Not naming names. Follow my eyes.

I’ve been casually training for a triathlon I’m not going to compete in because my ladies are doing it and I’m nothing if not a follower. Last Saturday and then again this morning we worked on our open water swimming. There are many signs that we are taking this athletic challenge of athleticism in a very seriously serious manner, which include but are not limited to:

-Giggling like wee girls.

-Squealing as we stand at the edge of the frigid drink and then eventually needing to be pushed in (This will go over well on race day, I imagine. The shotgun goes off. There’s a flurry of splashtastic activity. One lone spaztard in my heat stands with her arms folded, dancing from one foot to the other, “OOOoooooo… but it’s so COOOOLDD. Tee-hee-hee.” Grin. “I hope I win.”).

-Doing the back stroke most of the way, even though one woman warned us that when she switched to backstroke in her last race, the medi-kayak was deployed to see what was wrong with her.

-Periodically swimming up next to another athletic athlete and saying, “Shark Week,” in a most menacing way.

I’ll be going out of town when the other ladies take the plunge, ½ mile swim followed by an 18 mile bike ride followed by a 3.5 mile run and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was just a teeny bit glad in the smallest corner of my heart to have a good excuse for my athletic truancy.

But it’s fun to train with them. Mostly. In the middle part. For a couple of minutes. After my body is numb and before my brain is filled with green water.
Trust me the lake is much bigger, much colder, and much more full of dead bodies than it appears in this picture.
There was even one sublime moment during Saturday’s swim when a duck swam past me in a not creepy, we’re-all-part-of-the-great-circle-of-life, kind of way and then a bald eagle swooped down and grabbed a fish right out of the water and glided off to munch on it’s still beating heart.

If I were Native American or even had a Native American name like Pocahontas or John Smith, I think that moment would have moved me into postponing my trip so I could complete the race, a mystical sign from my animal brothers that I had raw fish left to clutch or races to eat or something.

Alas, I am the whitest white person I know so what it actually did after the initial “WOW” wore off was remind me that lakes contain things, living things, things that are cold, wet, slimy and potentially man-eating. If a fish were to bump into me while I was swimming, I feel fairly certain that I would make no sound as my heart stopped and I slipped ignominiously to Davy Jones’ locker.

Not thinking of my neurotic aquatic terror, following the first race in which I had gotten a tiny piece of water in my eye, I went to Tarzhay and purchased a pair of goggles so that I could see WHILE SWIMMING. IN THE LAKE. WHERE THE FISH AND DEAD BODIES LIVE.

I’ve always been scared of dead bodies under dark water but after watching that one scary movie where Harrison Ford plays a villain and you spend the whole movie asking “Han Solo, why’s it gotta go down like this Homey?” I now know that dead bodies under water are true.

So today as I swam along, I kept catching glimpses of my paler than death, whiter than normal white people arm flashing by as I swam. At which time I would die just a little, thus partially self-fulfilling prophecy, and scream under water, sure I had seen the floating remains of some poor victim of Mr. Solo. This would result in the inhalation of said water and in a fervent vow to never ever EVER again open my eyes in those way-too-clear goggles of terror. Then I would swim with eyes closed way off course until my compatriots yelled my name and pointed back to shore. I repeated this zig-zag pattern all over the lake, getting worked up to the point where I was sure that the skirt on my tankini was really a giant strand of semi-sentient sea weed tangled around my legs and bent on my most hideous destruction.

One of my friends told me after the swim that she was only in it to get an athletic body like the other triathletes she knows. I thought about this and I realized that hers is an unrealistic goal for someone like me.

People who eat cheese will never have triathlete bodies. I mean, they can sample cheese betimes at cheese tasting events. But I’m fairly sure that people who EAT cheese will never look like that.

That’s why I’m in it for the glory.

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50 Responses to Into the Drink

  1. Jillian says:

    Oh man I thought I was the only one to be completely freaked out by dead bodies in lakes. Something about the dark cold water just chills my soul. I also hate to swim in a pool at night and the underwater lights only make it that much more earie.
    By the way I have actually been rammed by a fish. My dear school friend had a small lake on her property growing up and when we would swim we avoided the far east of the water. It seems this was the self proclaimed domain of a rather large fish who would ram unsuspecting intuders of his space. Very disconcerting.

  2. Wendy says:

    You are a bigger man, than I. And was that part about the eagle true? if so, totally cool!

  3. Jeana says:

    You are Awesome McAwesomson.

  4. Ashley says:

    Your blog is great! You are such an entertaining writer!!!

  5. OK, this part:

    “At which time I would die just a little, thus partially self-fulfilling prophecy, and scream under water, sure I had seen the floating remains of some poor victim of Mr. Solo”

    totally made a cold chill go down my spine. I hate swimming in lakes because of that oozy black mud at the bottom that always feels vaguely warm on the top layer, but icy cold as your feet sink in a little more. ::shivering:: I never thought about the dead bodies floating around. Clearly, I have an even better reason not to swim in lakes anymore!

  6. Erin says:

    That movie with Harrison Ford? One of the scariest I’ve seen. So I’m with you on dead bodies in the lake–I don’t like lakes.

    Also, once I “trained” for a half marathon thinking I’d get a rockin’ bod–didn’t happen. And, bonus, I came in last in the race!

  7. Jessie says:

    I’m impressed at the training you are doing! Makes me wish I had friends that were doing a triathlon so I could train with them.

  8. TJ Hirst says:

    It is super scary to swim in a lake when you fear the unknown things that are swimming with you. Last week, my daughter threatened to throw a guppy she found with her at her little sister. I’m sure we will all not be participating in any triathlons any time soon that weren’t in a swimming pool, but good for you for training anyway. We eat cheese, too. I can’t keep it in the fridge.

  9. allysha says:

    wow. I am impressed, I am.

  10. Jen says:

    What movie was that? I can’t imagine Indiana Jones as a bad guy.

    Also: glad to hear I’m not the only cheese-eater around. With my girls just as big of fans as I am, we’ve moved up to buying the massive Costco sized blocks of Tillamook Medium Cheddar. I’s just so good!

  11. Faith says:

    I’m pretty pasty-white myself, and have never much been one for swimming in a lake where organisms that I cannot communicate with also swim. Perhaps you would be better off if you kept your eyes CLOSED while under the water.

    Keep eating the cheese. I don’t think there is anything in the whole wide world that is worth enough to give up cheese.

  12. Fawndear says:

    You forgot to mention that your still doing a Triathlon with wanna-be athletic friends. It’s just not an officially timed event but you’ll still be able to say to completed one. I bet you’ll earn mega points for doing it too.

    Love the hair and how you matched the shirt with the goggles.

    I’m going to have to communicate with my animal friends to see if there’s anything else spectacular that they can pull out of their hats to make you postpone that trip for a few more hours.

    You’re Awesome!

    • Honestly I’m not so sure about the try tri. I am on the point of actual death here with this flu/sinus thing. I would be greatly obliged if you’d come over here and mercifully put me out of my misery.

  13. Nikki says:

    Totally agree about the bodies in the lake. Not just dead human bodies, but dead floating fish bodies. Gross. Jaws also was known to have been in a lake, which is why I will not water ski, tube behind a boat, or ride on the banana.

  14. I hate swimming in unchlorinated water. HATE IT. I only like swimming with my own species…

  15. Surcie says:

    It’s because of cheese that I’m naturally buoyant.

    Dude, you are rockin’ the pink goggles.

  16. holly says:

    You crack me up – that was the funniest post I’ve read in a long time. I get scared swimming in lakes, too, although I tend to think of sharks and fish. I never even thought of dead bodies until… now. Thanks. I’m sure going to the lake with my family next weekend is going to be awesome.

    And those pink goggles really do rock. Especially with the braids!

  17. Becky says:

    Oooooh – “What Lies Beneath” still freaks me out to the point that I have a hard time getting into a lake! If I feel a fish, I am so out of there!
    :) Becky
    http://www.stinkylemsky.typepad.com/

  18. T with Honey says:

    I get nervous about swimming in lakes not because of dead bodies (fish or otherwise). A good antibacterial soap will fix anything they may give me.

    It’s snapping turtles. I value my appendages. I need my fingers in order to type and make a living. And write my blog.

  19. Dixie says:

    You must be friends with those crazy ladies I talked to at girls’ camp last week who were doing the polar swim at 6am. They said they were in training for a triathalon! I think you are all nuts, but I’m cheering for you. . .
    Dixie

  20. mother of the wild boys says:

    I LoVe DYM! You never disappoint…actually your amazingly witty and observant writing has spoiled me for all other blogs. Try as they may, they’ll never live up to you.

    Anyway, the only lake I’ve ever swam in is Lake Mead outside of my hometown of Las Vegas. The Lake is man-made (remember the Hoover Dam? It’s the lake that supports the dam…or is that the other way around?) My parents always remembered to remind me of the fact that the land where the lake now sits was once a little town. So of course I grew up imagining the lifeless bodies of the people whose completely furnished homes must still be lying at the bottom of that lake. :eek:

  21. I love this post with a giddy glee of loving posts. It totally RULES!

  22. hey there!!
    We got the letter and were really happy about it as we have been really missing you all!!! I am very impressed, I am gone only a few weeks and you are training for the olympics!! WOW!!! I cant believe I thought it would be ok to go on a long vacation with the inlaws. I am really beyond insane by this point, i mean the husband should be here too to enjoy the moments as well. R is beyond spoiled I am not sure if we can bring him back to reality withour putting him in a cage and breaking his spirit, even thought I really dont think that would help. I am whalelike and they dont have any airconditioning here or any ice to put in your drinks. I knew all these things after having lived here before but I am pregnant and irate.its late but I had to say hello and we cant wait to hang out at the slip n slide with you all and drink really cold icy drinks soon!!! I am off to hang out with a friend tommorow adn let the kids watch tv and go nuts while i try to hold it together. Saturday we are off to Swissland and that will be the highlight of the trip. We will eat yummy food and talk alot & its niot hot there!!!Can I tell you how weird felt to be the only pregnant lady stupid enough to take a holiday to the mudflats (tell you later) when the rest of informed Germans stayed in beach towns that had real sand beaches with actual salt water & stuff. My inlaws are busy folk & not computer nor geography savy apparantly. Ok, I should sleep or I will pass out in the heat while driving my mother in laws lawnmower to visit friends tommorow. I am going to find out how much the oko friendly mattress protectors are tommorow & let you know so if you want them I can buy them this friday when i go to the store. Much love & wish me luck & strength to persevere. say hey to all your honeys from us ok!!!

  23. papaclint says:

    I’m thinking of Frodo and Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings, crossing the marsh with all of the dead bodies… lots of them! Mwaa,,, hah… haaaahhhhh!!!!

  24. Nancy says:

    Enough of the scary dead body stories and dead fish…..Please get better soon so you can do this crazy tri-tri….you have 1. 5 weeks to get better. And next time i’d like to see pictures of your crazy athlete-wannabe friends….especially the ones with the awesome athletic looking bodies :)

  25. KYouell says:

    I’ve always been concerned about any distant relatives of Nessie that may be in the body of water with me than dead bodies. Until I read this post.

    And I spent that whole movie thinking that he just couldn’t be guilty, something else must be going on. They must have counted on that disbelief of him being the bad guy.

  26. Good for you, and great post!

    Have you seen this?
    http://beanpaste.blogspot.com/2008/05/alive-with-fish-dying-inside.html

    Blessings,
    Stacy

  27. Karla says:

    Dead bodies underwater,, oh yes I am afraid of that. You are really brave for doing this :D

  28. I haven’t been writing or reading blogs in a long time, but tonight I just had a thought about you.
    Is everything o.k.?
    Lately I’ve been occupied with options trading, trying to offset the rising cost of EVERYTHING!
    That’s taking a most of my time, it’s like a second full time job.
    Baby Dumpling is doing well, but for some reason she doesn’t want to learn how to crawl, but she’s interested in walking. Strange for a 9 month old I think.
    She’s learning things very fast, maybe I should get one of those colored cube puzzels…Is it rubics or rubix cubes?
    I know this has nothing to do with what you wrote or comments made, but just wanted to say Hi and let you know that everything is still going great. Baby has 2 teeth in and 2 more coming but no fussing or teething problems. Solid food is going well.
    If I knew having a baby was this easy I would have done this years ago.

    Take care,
    Baby Dumpling’s Poppa

    P.S. It’s easy for me because my wife has been taking care of everything…Behind every good man is a great woman…

    BabyDumplings Poppa

  29. Amanda says:

    YOU. CRACK. ME. UP. Seriously. Like, I almost died. Now
    I have to read it again, so I can almost die for real some more.

  30. Eve says:

    that is my favorite picture ever.

  31. Donna says:

    I found your blog through Parenting, and I’m loving it. My whole family lives in Seattle, except me – I live in China. So when I’m feeling homesick for a bit of Seattle, I can visit you more easily than them (weird, huh? I don’t even know you).

    I HATE swimming in lakes and oceans (couldn’t do it in China, even if I wanted, given the pollution). I think I saw Jaws at an impressionable age, and I always have the sense that there is some giant beast lurking underneath the surface waiting to chow on me. Also, I read a Stephen King short story once about these friends who were stalked by a scary creature while they hung out on a dock – maybe it’s actually called “The Dock” or something like that? Google it, find it, read it and I guarantee you’ll never so much as stick a toe in a lake again. Ever.

    Me, I’m fine with a good old-fashioned swimming pool.

  32. kelly says:

    Amen.

    Han Solo scared the crud outta me.

    Bodies of water that aren’t chlorinated and contain fish/bodies scare crud outta me.

    And, life not worth living without cheese.

  33. Mrs Lemon says:

    I kept this post as a favorite in my bloglines just so I could see that picture every day :)

  34. And when people ask me why I don’t like to swim … hello, yuck!? … I’m sending them to this post!!

  35. becky says:

    The lake thing reminded me of that creepy scene in Lord of the Rings (of course, I don’t remember which of the 3 – maybe it was 2? or 3) where it has the lake with the bodies floating in it. Totally. creepy.

  36. Carrie says:

    I’d be in it all for the glory too! You are rockin’ those goggles and now, unofficially, my new hero.

  37. Rebecca says:

    Ah, What Lies Beneath. I am so glad to hear that I wasn’t the only deeply traumatized viewer…
    If I went swimming like that, I would be in it for the drowning. My swimming skills are SUB PAR.

  38. After Hours says:

    Wow. There really are other people out there just as freaked out about stuff as I am. That’s soooo cool.

    It’s funny that the fish and dead bodies scare you in the lake. I never really gave much thought to fish, I was always scared of the snakes. One good bite and you’re dead. How will you have time to yell to someone to save your life as the snake has got you in his clutches and slowly coiling you up and pulling you under. Makes a fish scale touching your leg seem like the soft fur of a kitten huh?

    Cheese rocks. Any kind, any time. I like to eat it at night mixed with salsa melted in the microwave. And then I wonder in the morning why I gained weight…again.

    I think only supermodels are supposed to be skinny. They get paid for it. If someone paid me I’d probably think really hard about not eating as much cheese:)

    Hope you feel better. Your blog rocks.

  39. michal says:

    i needed a good laugh and i got one. you, sick or not, were in top form when you wrote this. thank you so much!:) i can end the day with a smile on my face!

  40. Goat cheese is safe.

    A bunch of women in our ward are doing a triathalon, too. I’m just trying to learn how to swim properly. It’s HARD!

    Do you remember when we had the long conversation on the phone about a year ago about blogging and being LDS and what to write and how it influences a blog that’s attached to a business? My blog then was called The Pink Report, attached to PinkPowerSuit.com.

    Well, I finally took the plunge. And Typepad’s my new boyfriend.

  41. kittyhox says:

    This made me laugh so. Shark week. Hah!

    Will you please be my friend?

    I have been afraid of swimming in a swimming pool alone ever since I was about ten or eleven years old and caught an episode of Matlock or something similarly terrifying in which a woman is swimming laps in her pool at night and an unknown assailiant swims up from below her and handcuffs her ankle to the swimming pool floor’s grate!

    My problem is that I have an overactive imagination. And it’s so easy to imagine dead seaweedy bodies under the water. Or even worse, a fish biting one’s big toe.

    But other than all that, it sounds like a good time!

  42. owlhaven says:

    Oh, my goodness! What an adventure!

    you are tougher than I am!

    Mary, mom to many

  43. Jeana says:

    Did you see this?

    http://www.forkswa.com/blog/2008/09/146/

    Stephenie Meyer day in Forks on Bella’s bday Sep 13th!

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