City of Big Shoulders
Hog Butcher for the World
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat.
Player with Railraods and the Nation’s freight Handler;
Stormy, Husky, Brawling,
So Big shoulders, it’s where it all began again for me in 2013, my first swim event since my late teens, my first event after 10 years of swimming retirement. I didn’t know where that swim would lead as I stood on the beach that morning, having only jumped in the lake 3 times prior to that event. Family members had asked “why the hell would I want to swim in Lake Michigan”, I didn’t have great answers other than someone convinced me I should, and it had given me an opportunity to raise some money for dog rescue.
I owe Chicago a lot, I came here for a summer at 19 on the toss of a coin, I met my wife, I got married here in 2006, I moved here in 2008. I am heading in to my 12th Chicago winter. I learnt to love open water here, I learned to appreciate the living, breathing, creature that lake Michigan is, I learned to respect the lake, I have learnt to play with the lake, and I have learnt when I should just leave her alone.
She gives me solitude and peace when I need it and other times she knocks me around and reminds me of my insignificance in the world. So why oh why would I just as happily not swim Big Shoulders tomorrow.
I think there are a few things going on in my head.
- This season has not been what I wanted or planned for, so I just want it over
- I want to focus on next year and after tomorrow it feels like this year is done, at least from a swim view.
- I know a lot of swimmers at tomorrows event, I like a lot of swimmers at tomorrows event, I don’t really want to swim with a 1000 people and the chaos that ensues. It turns out I have learned to enjoy the smaller numbered events.
- I have been really enjoying my small pod swims, when I want, where I want for how long I want i.e. not getting out of bed at 5.30am to go swim
- Motivation to get out bed at 5.30am to swim a 5km is not overwhelming in the way it was 6 years ago.
- I am paying for a swim, in a lake I swim in 7 months a year, in which I regularly exceed this distance.
- I have swum this event, more than any other event
And it’s a big BUT
Its big shoulders, its basically my home town swim. This city and lake have given me a lot, its looking like big waves which could make it a fun morning, it looks like it might be chillyish low 60s and there is a beach hazard warning in effect until morning time so water should be a nice churn color and feeling. There will also be a lot of friends here for this swim
So maybe that will bring some morning excitement
Yours- a somewhat adequate swimmer