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Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine

Workout 10/06/12: OW

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As planned, I went to a men's retreat this weekend with my son and some guys in the area, fourteen in total. Every Columbus Day weekend in Swanzy, NH, as the leaves on the trees are changing colors and the cool mornings start to invade our region, this retreat is available at Pilgrim Pines, a Christian conference center that just happens to be on the northern edge of a great lake in the middle of the woods. I haven't been there in a few years due to work schedules, but was off this past week and was happy to get the weekend away for "everyday life." Three requirements to go, and you only have to meet two of them: , , and listen. If you forget your Bible, they have plenty there ...

The weekend was supposed to be a washout, but ended up only having a short sprinkle of rain come through Saturday evening. Otherwise some great weather to go along with way too much good food and a great speaker going through the Beatitudes. Mark is originally from the Seattle area and just moved to Chicago, and was likening his walk with God to a paddle board that he built (which contained seven bulkheads that formed the tension box construction of the board). While hidden, each of the bulkheads symbolized areas of his walk and also correlated with the teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. Interesting stuff.

Friday and Saturday nights are typically left open for free time after the evening's sessions, and with either cookies or banana splits (this year) and the drink area open, our group will generally stay up for a good portion of the night discussing the Word and how it applies in our lives. Really opening up to the men that we might see during the week at work or in the community, knowing each other's struggles, and also encouraging one another on to make our "self" less and allow God to work more in our lives. So of those three requirements - well, sleep was not attained too much, and I was just fine with that.

Saturday afternoon from lunch to dinner is also free time. Some guys play golf, basketball, hit the water with the canoes for some fishing, others might go hiking or either relax around the camp, talking or sleeping. This is a great lake, and since this is the first time where I am actually swimming and here, I brought along my swimmer buddy and gear to hop in if time allowed. Glad I did!


View of the lake from our cabin

The air temp was in the low 70's, and the water was a crisp 66 degrees - a tad cold when I got in, but quickly acclimated to and comfortable for the entire swim. As I made my way from the cabin to the water's edge, crunching the pine needles underfoot, I set my phone up in the buoy and slowly waded into the water. Only two canoes were on the lake, and despite the overcast skies to the south the trees along the edge of the lake were proudly displaying their new colors. The water was being pushed by a good wind towards the north, so I worked a little harder on the way down to the other side of the lake, admiring the boats and camps that were slowing being put up for the end of the season.

As I crossed the end of the lake and turned around towards home, the clouds were beginning to get darker and the sun slipped away. For the most part I could not see the bottom, although there were times when the rocks would kind of pop up in front of me. Not really scary, but just noticeable, as were the few fish that I observed from above. I happened upon a man with his wife and daughter in a canoe heading back to their home on the lake. I offered my standard pleasantry: "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" Always gets a laugh, even more than a sight of some lunatic swimming in the middle of the lake! Finished up, avoiding the pontoon boat that was setting of to circle the lake, and after drying off I was welcomed at the beach with this sight:


All in all, a great swim in the midst of a super weekend, enjoying God's Creation. I ended up swimming just over 1.5 miles in 48 minutes, the map of the swim is here. I was grateful for the opportunity to squeeze a swim in, and also for the time with my son and friends in this great place.

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Categories
Swim Workouts , Open Water

Comments

  1. quicksilver's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing Mike...both your swimming adventures and your faith. I like the paddle board part too.
  2. rxleakem's Avatar
    Thanks for stopping by, QS. I thought some might enjoy the SUP - it was a Kaholo Stand-Up Paddleboard the pastor built, and he had great pictures of the whole process.