Congratulate me. I am now a San Francisco Bay swimmer!!!

THis evening I got together with Pedro and about 70 other swimmers to swim the last short stretch of the swim into the swim finish. After getting marked as #72 on my right hand, I donned my neoprine hood and long sleeve top under my wetsuit. I didn’t have time to use any body glide because I arrived just as the group was leaving. The website said that the 6/1/6 workout was at aquatic park. But there was a different page for this special “clinic” at a different location. So I showed up right on time at a location about 2 miles away. Grrr. I took the bus BACK to where i started, because the group actually met just down the hill from my hotel. Luckily, with my mega-bus-transfer-ticket, I only had to pay $1.50 for all my bus riding today (3 trips).

Anyway, I suited up and we walked barefoot and flip-flopped to the end of the small pier. Three yellow kayaks led the way, and I sighted on the kayak for the first half of our swim. The water was needles to say, COLD. At first my feet were freezing. I took about a dozen strokes heads up, then finally got my face in the water. I felt my chest tighten up and panic start to well up inside. But I’ve been there before…I knew I was OK, so I just kept stroking. I eventually got into a decent rhythm, and began to sight well on the yellow buoy where we turned inward to aim for the big gold dome that marks the Palace of Fine Arts. Ahead of me I saw a mass of black-neoprine-clad swimmers gathered on the steps of the swim finish, which I recognized from the video I watched at home last week. I swam right up to the sand then climbed onto the mossy, barnacled steps, and I was, at last…a SAN FRANCISCO BAY SWIMMER!!!!

Alcatraz, here I come!