Friday, July 08, 2005

Body Surfing

I've heard that the Native American name for Lake Michigan is Gitchee Gumee. Now, I may not be spelling it correctly, but I'm betting the correct interpretation of the name is something like "Big Lake Kicks Swimmer's Ass."

I woke up this morning, looked out the window and said "Hmmm. No wind = no waves. Great day for an open water swim." Off I went to Tiscornia Park and my 3X weekly Steelhead swim. Rounding the last dune I saw how wrong my prediction of flat water was. Where the hell did those waves come from anyway? Hurricane Dennis?

Simply put, the waves left me threwed, screwed, tattoed, racked, stacked, balled and burlapped.. I swam the 1.2 but it took nearly an hour. When I wasn't dodging insane jet skiers or accidentally body surfing toward shore, I was literally falling off the back of waves and slamming down on my face. Swimming over sandbars was quite an adventure, too. Two-foot waves suddenly reared into 4-foot breakers, the hissing foam sounding like evil laughter. And don't get me started on the motion sickness. It's now 2:00 in the afternoon and I'm still tasting Raisin Bran. Blech.

But I made it. Crawled out of the water, slogged back to the start, thanked the people who watched my stuff and headed up to the pier to watch the fishing. In the space of two minutes I saw two HUGE Steelheads reeled in, their silver sides gleaming in the green water. I'm sure that's some kind of omen. I'll have to rely on my small amount of Native American blood to help me figure out which kind of omen.


Keryn said... did 1.2 with those waves in an hour and lived to tell the tale. You rock! Big lake may kick swimmers ass, but swimmer still wins the war.

Wil said...

Holy crap - that was just an epic post. four-foot breakers, are you kidding me?

I love the end of this - it's a good omen, it has to be.

Comm's said...

yeah man thats training right there.

nancytoby said...

I thought Gitche Gumee was Lake Superior!?

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy.

Vertical Man said...

I've heard the term used in reference to both lakes, actually. I'm just not sure that Gordon Lightfoot is the most authoritative reference!!!!

mipper said...

what tiny bit of native american blood i have tells me it is a good omen -- steelhead can be reigned in. take it for what's it's worth. :)

Oldman said...

sounds like your swim was good practice for any tri pack start! yea its a good omen!