Swimming in the Ocean

Thursday evening I completed my first ever ocean swim. It was short. I was scared…of being swept out to sea, of jellyfish, of sharks…just like Nemo’s dad.

But it turned out to be an exhilarating experience that I can’t wait to repeat.

Of course, I’ve been in the ocean. But I’ve never donned cap and goggles and actually gone swimming. Why? Well, up until 4 years ago I wasn’t a swimmer. And I don’t like salt water. And the ocean is big and scary.

But when the President of your company, with whom you’re in Ft. Lauderdale on business, suggests a run to the ocean and a swim, well, how could you refuse? 😉 The 2.5 mile run to the beach gave us a great opportunity to chat and for me to get to know more about the company I joined 3 weeks ago, and of course for me to make a good impression. Turns out James is an avid swimmer and completed Nations triathlon in September. So we also talked triathlon.

When we got to the beach we stashed our run gear under a lifeguard stand (I noticed with some regret it was unmanned) and hopped into the ocean. The cold water felt great after running in the sticky South Florida air. But the waves were kinda big. James deftly dove into a wave while I, well, waited…and waited…and realized I just had to bite the bullet.

Of course what I actually did was swallow a huge mouthful of salt water. But then I start swimming. And I realized how fun it was to be lifted up by the waves. Of course, timing the breathing is essential, but it actually was quite easy. We swam parallel to the shore, and I watched the hotels pass by on one side, the brightly-lit ships on the other. When James got too far ahead of me he’d backstroke to keep an eye on me and let me catch up.

It was hard to swim in a straight line and so I just tried to follow him. I was definitely afraid I’d start swimming out to sea. The water was murky, but at one point I thought I saw a jellyfish, although it could have been a plastic bag… It started getting dark quickly so we decided to call it a day. As we walked back along the beach to our starting point, James pointed out a dead jellyfish on the beach. I said it was a good thing we hadn’t seen that before our swim, because I wouldn’t have gone in the water.


What the jellyfish looked like in my mind…


…What the jellyfish really looked like.

Although I probably would. Because, after all, if the President of your company says swim, you swim, right? 😉



  1. Sounds exciting! I think I need to get a job with your company!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Women’s Running Series Scottsdale 5K Race RecapMy Profile

  2. Cool! Sounds like a great first experience (said the girl who barely dog paddles).
    Marcia recently posted..Gluten-Free Foodie FridayMy Profile

  3. Awesome! I was looking at a triathlon in Bethany since my parents have a house there, and the ocean swim sounded cold and slightly intimidating. I should try it though, right???
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! recently posted..Friday Five: Low Heart Rate, Low Weight, and Low TiresMy Profile

    • Alison Gittelman says:

      Cynthia, you definitely should! I have heard good things about triathlons in that area. Plus, you like swimming way more than I do!

  4. oh yes, always follow your president’s suggestions. Oceans swims are fun.. well, unless it’s a rough water day. Haha

  5. I have swam in the ocean a handful of times, once during the Lavaman Tri, a few times for fun, and two other times for race prep swimming. It IS scary, but then again, I think lake/lagoon/any open body of water swimming is scary. This is in fact why I have not yet signed up for the spring 70.3 I have been talking with my girlfriends about for months! Hahaha. I think you do just have to bite the bullet and jump out there. Glad you enjoyed it! One benefit….buoyancy! Combine that with a wet suit legal course and you are sure to hit a great swim time!
    Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted..Wings and Things!My Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge