I succumbed early last light to sleep when it beckoned so when 5:30 arrived, I was rested and I knew blessed rain had visited while I slept as I saw rain gushing along the curbs to the storm sewers during the night when I woke up.
I love the air after it rains, and needed no more prompting to leave early and forgo my email in favour of the smell of the atmosphere freshly scrubbed. Plus it was a lovely 16 degrees, perfect for riding.
It rained almost exclusively at night the first year I moved here that I thought that Penticton had invented a weather machine, rain for the plants at night, and hot beach weather and sunshine all day. Paradise!
Today I approached Skaha Lake expecting to find it nearly deserted at 6 a.m. instead I found it curiously busy with cars everywhere and people toting kayaks. As I was on bike, I sidled up to the beachwalk easily and the answer was obvious from the sign.
On the beach was a starting line and a sign Skahalakeultraswim.com.
These athletes are amazing!
The swimmers swim the length of Skaha lake (11 kilometres) with a swim escort in a kayak or a stand up paddleboard and it takes hours!
I remember I had a buddy who trained with me for a couple years at the pool until we could each swim the 50 lengths of the pool for a kilometre. I thought it would never happen, but he pushed me to be disciplined, and swim regularly. Then one day it happened and I swam 60 lengths in 20 minutes. I was slow but steady, the real athletes would tap me on the feet and then pass like dolphins.
I can’t imagine how much training it takes to swim a lake, it’s more difficult than in a pool by leaps because of waves and having to lift your head to check direction.
I admire people who are disciplined and push themselves to achieve. It can be fun or educational: tennis, yoga, wood-working, running, cycling, skiing (water and snow), snowboarding, learning new skills, and even new languages.
It takes discipline, and sometimes a buddy to achieve what you never knew you could, and tenacity. They inspire me when I stop at something, to start again.