photo by Ed Dawson

Each year for several years, my husband and I had an annual challenge. One year we biked around Cayuga Lake, another we ran our first half marathon, and the third year we tackled our first sprint triathlon. After the sprint tri we were hooked on exercise! We put countless hours in training over the next many years, and improved as athletes. After doing the Cayuga Lake Tri four times, however, the swim is still the most stressful portion for me. I’ve tried several things to improve swimming and I’m kind of stalled. 2014-2015 is the year I plan to really work on improved comfort and efficiency. I will share this journey here.

Total Immersion Lessons

This method of learning to swim took me from being unable to swim more than 50 yards without panic to being able to swim over a mile comfortably. I am still not a fast swimmer, but that is because of my own shoulder mobility struggles and body type, not because of the method. If you are interested in improving your swimming, I highly recommend you check this out. Total Immersion offers a video set and book for you to learn alone, but the best thing to do is look for a local TI coach. Shane Eversfield is a fabulous coach here in Ithaca if you are ever in the area. He also teaches workshops around the world.

Read all about my TI experiences with level 1, 2 and 3.

2017 Swimming

Lake Swimming – Summer 2015

Baseline Mile Swim

In anticipation of lake swimming, I went for a baseline pool mile swim. It went reasonably well and I felt proud of my progress this year! The 2nd time I tried it, it didn’t go quite as well.

Canoe Clinic

Participants in the ITC lake swims are required to attend a canoe clinic. I attended my clinic and was surprisingly almost as nervous about heading to the lake for this as I was for a real swim .. almost, but not quite! In the days leading up to the clinic, I suddenly found a new appreciation for pool swimming!



  1. Amy, thanks for sharing your experiences! Your stories were moving. It’s reassuring to know that others battle the ups and downs of swim practice. I wish I lived back in Ithaca again to be able to take Shane’s class. (I saw the link to your blog in his ITC post.)

    1. Thanks Darryl! Learning to swim has been an adventure for sure and I haven’t even started the OWS part of things!!

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