Top Five Work-Outs of 2013, Part 2
Number 4) Swimming Lake Champlain
Swimming has long been a weak spot for me in terms of both endurance and speed. Yet, I just love how eneregized I feel after a good swim; there is, I suspect, no better all-body workout. And so I decided to double up on last year’s Sprint Distance Triathlon by entering for an Oympic Distance in 2013, which forced me to improve on all fronts. I spent many an early winter morning at the YMCA in Kingston, doing laps. But I came into my own during the summer, often taking the bike up to nearby Kenneth Wilson State Park, an algae-covered lake that rarely sees swimmers except for the summer Triathlon series. When we took our older son off to college in Burlington, we stayed over a couple of nights, camping at North Beach at the shores of Lake Champlain. The morning after we said our farewells, I woke with the sun and decided, what the hell, I’m off to make the most of it. Wetsuit in hand, I was able to cover most of the distance I’d have ahead of me in the Triathlon, taking full advantage of the buoys that announce boat-free swimming lanes a hundred yards or so from shore. I wasn’t alone; there were other swimmers out early, similarly attired, and much more capable than I. But something had finally clicked; whereas previously, I always wore myself out within a few laps, now I was able to keep going at a steady pace, pretty much for as long as I wanted. I had finally found my form. And swimming went from a work-out to a pleasure.