swimming in the weeds

We spent this weekend at my wife’s parent’s lake home in northern Wisconsin.  It’s always a good time there, once you allow for the close quarters, many people sharing one bathroom, the bugs, and the occasional bit of familial fireworks.

Just kidding.  We had a really nice time.

A couple of times before this, I’d escorted Kris on an open water swim in the lake, paddling nearby in a canoe.  It’s usually a good way for her to get a workout in, and I always like an excuse to get out and paddle.  But this year, the lake’s lower than I’ve seen it in the fifteen or so years I’ve been visiting.  Consequently, swimming is a bit of an adventure.

I took Rachel with me to paddle alongside Kris on Friday, and apparently the going was pretty miserable.  A couple of time Kris actually ran aground, standing up and walking to the other end of a sand bar.  The rest of the time, she was swimming with weeds in her face.  Not pleasant.

Yesterday we tried something different.  She and I went out, with her brother John escorting us (with two of the kids along), as we swam the 1.1 miles directly across the lake and back.  We’d typically not done this route, as it can involve a fair bit of boat traffic, which makes both swimmer and paddler nervous.  But given the prevalence of the weeds and shallowness of our usual route, we were willing to try anything.  Also – given the dearth of good boating water, there weren’t the usual number of jetskis and speedboats about.

Aside from sounding like a man needing an oxygen tank, the swim felt great.  The weeds weren’t that bad, and it was good endurance and sighting practice for me.  I ended up enjoying it so much that I prevailed on Kris to paddle for me again this morning.

Another bonus workout was a reasonably paced 6.8 mile run from the cabin along some of the local roads.  Going early in the day means not much traffic, and most of the way you can run on the side of the road, in some nice soft dirt.  Just what my soul needed.

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