I haven’t swam much in the last month, that’s something I’ll have to change since there’s a New Swim brewing for summer 2014 (hint- it’s taking place in the same country where I write this). Right now, we’re spending the holidays in Ixtapa, Mexico, and the ocean is welcoming; flat as a pancake, warm as a summer pool. Some think of swimming of a solitary sport, yet I can tell you over the past couple of years, for me it is anything but. I only swim with friends and we commune.
Today, Mauricio and I joined with our friends Dave Morgan and Lorea Canales and circumnavigated Punta Ixtapa- a 3.5 K in the Pacific. A bit of history: In 2007, the four of us barely knew each other and swam 4 km out and back to a craggly rock off in the distance in the Pacific in rough waters, something that at the time felt utterly insane. Extended family was freaked out about sharks. I’m not sure but I think that was the birthplace for Mauricio catching the OW swimming bug. Dave is an incredible athlete- played water polo at Penn State and Lorea- well, I just find her magical.
Today’s adventure began by averting stepping on a close-by manta raya. Thank god yesterday as the plan was hatching, Mauricio told us to squish our step on the ocean floor with aplomb so our reverberations would be felt by sting rays anywhere in the vicinity. Seeing a lethal sting-ray close-by but not actually stepping on it made me feel nicely unscathed; we began to swim. Swimming, it felt like we were able to explore the area as no runner, biker, or any other transportational means could do. The views! Okay, maybe a boat could see the same, but they can’t see what’s below, and that’s the goood stuff. Above and below.
We were semi-worried about boat traffic not seeing us but the only boat that got close was actually a Naval boat– I’m sure they were like: “what the $% are these people doing?” We reassured them all was good.
We continued and then the most amazing thing happened that I’ve ever seen under water. Okay- I know that limits things a bit, but go with me here. Lorea, who does many things- like writing novels— also doesn’t happen to swim on a regular basis in her hometown of NYC. She was feeling a bit discouraged with the currents and suddenly two friendly golden fish appeared under her nose, swimming frenetically towards something, guiding her to the end. She began to swim– unleashing a hardcore freestyle– with a huge smile on her face.
We arrived at our destination and celebrated with a Margarita. I kinda felt disloyal to the G&T that I associate with swims, but when in Rome. So happy about our First Annual MDM (Playa Club Med- Playa Don Rodrigo- Margarita) And here’s to many more! Happy Holidays– hope you’ll all dare to swim where you think it’s impossible because that’s where the good stuff seems to be.