Posted by: David D. Daggett | June 23, 2008

Navigating Rough Waters

Navigating Rough Waters

      Do you ever find yourself in rough waters? In triathlons, and in life, rough waters are going to happen from time to time. The only question is how are we going to handle them. I’ve surely been in my share!

     1989 Ironman Europe Start

       I’ve got some great memories of “rough waters,” at least in triathlons. Above is the start of my first race abroad. In the narrow European Canal, a shipping canal connecting the Mein with the Danube rivers, with thousands of spectators we set off on our adventure.

At Ironman New Zealand in 1990, back when the race was centered in Auckland and the swim was in the ocean, we faced ominous waves. I was hoping to break an hour, but was disheartened when it took me more than 40 minutes to reach the turn around. However, body surfing my way back in 19 minutes (!) I broke that hour barrier for the first time!

The remnants of the earthquake and the reverse current at the three-fourths marks made the swim in Hawaii 2006 was a bit of a puzzle. For a brief period of time, all of us caught in that anomaly were actually going backwards!

After all these years I finally had a first in Coeur d’ Alene last year – the swim was made optional! The unseasonably cold water, strong winds, and extreme chop had us bobbing like corks. It was the most collegial swim I have ever been in – we were all in very rough water, together.

So, the lessons from being in rough waters seem be determined by how we handle them. We need to keep going as straight as possible, while keeping our eye on the goal. Sometimes we need to find others and work together. Above, rough waters are never a time to quit – if we know it is right, we know it is good, we know we can do it, then we have to keep on going.

Always swimming,


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