Sunday, September 12, 2010
Brooklyn Bridge Swim
September 11th, 2010
Today I swam up to the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge stanchion and touched it with my hand. Looking up at the Brooklyn Bridge span from the water was exhilarating. It feels really good to know that I was able to do this swim and enjoy it, especially after all the fear and worry I had about it. When I arrived at the starting point this morning I felt so anxious I was becoming nauseated. Looking out at the river I saw a busy shipping lane, with massive boats plowing through a terrifying expanse of turbulent water, and wished I could just watch the race instead. In the end it was a lark. The happy news is that I am braver than I thought.
In previous open water races I had terrible panic attacks at the start that were exhausting and frightening. This time I swam the whole way with my brother, Nathan. We also started late to avoid the crush at the front. Starting late worked out fine, the only drawback was having to swim with slower swimmers --it was a very crowded course all the way through. I found myself doing breast stroke most of way under the bridge to avoid running over people, and I never came close to finding my pace. Next time maybe I'll do a longer race.