Today during masters swimming I was thinking about how much I love the water and how it has always been a part of my life. I was not a swimmer per se when I was younger but I have memories and some pictures very early on in life of being around water just in diapers. I started learning how to be a freestyler swimmer in 2007 when I wanted to try out the sport of triathlon.
My dad’s family had a lake place on Portage Lake near Ottertail, MN when I was a baby and toddler. I remember slight things about the house (narrow staircase in the kitchen with a door you could close that lead to the upstairs and this small door that went out on a small balcony) and you can see the picture below of my cousin, Angie, and I lounging in a floatie on the lake when we were three years old.
When I was an adolescent, birthday parties were usually pool party themed and held at a local hotel or we would spend our time at the West Fargo Veterans pool playing in the water and catching some rays on the concrete slab nearby and buying flavored icees from the pool vendor.
In my pre teens and teens both my grandparents had lake cabins. Great memories at Grandma Bette Brand’s Middle Cormorant cabin of the big family making dinners, playing cards and our uncles throwing us into the lake. My Grandma Betty and Grandpa Howie rented a place on Eunice and later bought a place down the road on Maud. We lived for weekends at the lakes as kids to water ski and of course tan using baby oil! Thankfully both cabins are still in each family today and the younger generations have continued to build their own memories there. Three years ago when Matt and I were back in ND/MN for my mom and Bill’s wedding we swam across Lake Maud to test our fitness level before our first Ironman.
My dad lived in Colorado so each summer we would go and see him and he would always take us to Water World and Cherry Creek Reservoir. When I’ve been in Denver on business I stay close enough to the reservoir and have done some runs on the trails in the park and think back to loading up the cooler and heading to Cherry Creek for the day to play in the sand and water.
And now in my thirties I am still having fun playing in the water either to swim train, race a triathlon, ocean swimming or stand up paddle boarding with friends. My friend recently said after her 53rd birthday cove swim she hopes we are all out there together for my 53rd birthday. That is the great thing about swimming, it can be part of your life from infancy and late into life!