*from June 17, 2015
You guys didn’t think I’d spend a year in Australia and not try surfing, did you? OK, maybe those of you who know how scared of sharks I am might have thought that, but I did it anyway! Katie had heard from a friend that Byron Bay was a really cool town, and since I hadn’t been yet, it was the perfect place to end the “road trip” portion of our East Coast adventure before flying to Sydney. Facing another poor weather forecast, we took our chances and booked a morning class with Byron Bay Surf School. Against the odds, we lucked out and had a cloudy morning with no rain. Our instructor’s name was Simon. He was from Victoria and had THE BEST Australian accent I’ve heard this entire year. We wiggled into our wetsuits and hit the beach.
Last week, while the kids were at swim lessons, I saw a mother introducing her daughter to the water. She didn’t cry; she didn’t scream. She looked perfectly at home in the water. She was FIVE MONTHS OLD. This tiny baby cooperated with every bounce and remained unfazed even when her mom dipped her completely under the water. I joked with her mom about seeing her baby in the Olympics someday. “That’s the plan,” she laughed.
Lately, I’ve been telling Z and M about my upcoming trip to the Gold Coast to watch one of my best friends and USA National Team Member Eva Fabian compete in the Pan Pacific Championships in the 10K Open Water (Their response: “She swims for TWO HOURS? Won’t her arms fall off?”). I also started teaching swim lessons at the local YMCA. With both of those events in mind, I’ve thought a lot about what swimming has come to mean to me since my competitive career ended in February. I still manage to get in a workout of my own on occasion, but swimming has become something I can enjoy as a fan and participate in as a teacher and a coach. And I love it.