When I started ocean swimming I was afraid of getting out beyond the surf. The first morning I arrived early to walk my dog and to take a look at the size of the surf. It was really calm that morning so that was great. People started arriving, but it was all men. Now typically this would be a fantastic thing, but not when you are hoping to have a similarly slow swim buddy! So I asked, “Anyone go at a slower pace?” Two guys said they are the slower ones and stick together and that I could swim with them. This helped, but again, what a guy considers slow and what I consider slow can often be two very different things! So we get out past the waves, regroup and start swimming. Well, I started to panic and couldn’t put my face in the water. One of “my slow guys” stopped and said, “Are you OK? What’s going on?” Me, “Sorry, I’m just panicking a little bit.” Him, “Why? Just breathe.” Now, I am used to swimming with my good friend who will coddle me a bit more than that, so my first response was “F” you, but then I saw the beauty of his simple statement, “Just breathe.” So I took a breath, put my face in the water and had one of the best ocean swims to date. I looked over at him from time to time and realized we were swimming in perfect unison. As we all regrouped at the end of the swim the sunrise was beautiful, the ocean was calm and I was surrounded by strong, incredible men. Not a bad way to start a day!
Since then “Just Breathe” has been my motto, so I was thrilled to find a key that simply said, “Breathe”.