Sunday, 31 July 2016

Wetsuit for sale

I remember the advice a friend gave me a while back; that during the first year (post collision) there would be a lot of firsts and many of them would be hard to get through. I came to this holiday with that in mind.

One of those firsts that I had been thinking about for a while was the challenge of getting into my wetsuit. I bought it at the beginning of the 2014 tri season – I got one full season of racing in it. Anyway we brought it along knowing that the bay would be cold and due to my inability to regulate body temperature we thought it would help me last longer in the water.

Getting it on was hard. It was tough pre-collision, and that was when I had muscles in my legs and core that worked to squirm into it. Theo had to basically get me in as far as I would go and then pick me up by the wetsuit and shake me into it. Kind of like stuffing a sleeping bag into a stuff sack. It wasn’t pretty.

Once we got me into it I got hot, fast, and we knew I needed to get to the water before overheating. Upon arrival our host showed us how to use the water chair. It was something they had made in order for his brother (who has MS) to get into and out of the water. The challenge for me was getting onto the chair because it was quite a bit higher than mine. Taking a chance, we used the slider board to get me on but decided not to do that again – the distance being too far. Theo and Ella have done a lot of lifting this holiday. For quite some time we have ribbed Ella for not having many muscles…my tune has changed now. I have been encouraging her when she uses them – especially now that she is my leg lifter.

Getting into the bay was nice – as I was quite hot already – but l forgot how floaty a wetsuit makes a swimmer. It was actually quite awkward as I was used to my legs dragging through the water far below the surface, and here they were floating right on top! It set my balance off and I actually had to work hard at getting into a vertical position in the water. I never in a million years thought I would gladly accept the help of my 13 year old future lifeguard. Several times Ella helped me flip so that my head was up. It never was a dangerous situation, just a bit awkward.

We swam across to the next island, about 150 meters. That felt like an accomplishment – but getting out of the wetsuit was even more!

For the rest of the week I swam without the wetsuit and stayed in for shorter periods of time. I am going to have to do some reaserch about wetsuits that have zippers up the legs. I know I have seen one before, but I am sure it will

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