Luke Graham

Luke Graham

Luke Graham: The open water series is coming

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Luke Graham

Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Luke here.

— What started as a late night conversation now is a reality.

And at first I wasn’t sure what I had got myself into.

But now, after months, I believe I’m ready.

The Bald Eagle Lake Open Water Series begins July 2. It continues every Monday after in July.

I will be doing each one.

Swimming really isn’t scary. But to understand, let’s go back to the beginning.

In the early morning of Jan. 1, my co-worker and friend Matt Stensland sent me a text saying we were doing the Open Water Series.

I half-heartedly agreed, then avoided him for the next month.

Finally he got me in the pool. We worked with the Total Immersion swimming program. After my first session, I didn’t feel like I was the second coming of Michael Phelps, but I thought this would be easy. 

I called my mom, an avid swimmer, and wanted her to find my old swimming lesson reports to prove just how awesome of a swimmer I was. 

I was an awesome swimmer, right mom?

“Uh,” she said, “You were OK.”

She reminded me that my time in swim lessons mainly were spent doing dead man floats and playing on the water slide.

My second swim lesson proved I wasn’t quite the swimmer I thought and more the one my mom remembered.

But through multiple sessions, swimming became something I looked forward to. Its benefits reach everywhere.

My body feels better. My body feels looser. It’s a tremendous workout. It’s incredibly easy on the body.

Maybe the most important thing I’ve learned through this is swimming isn’t scary. It started out that way, as I’m sure it does for most people. I think it’s probably the scariest part for most people that want to do a triathlon or just pick it up.

Understand that if I can do it, so can you. I was the guy who would do one length of the pool, lunge for the wall, grab it and breath heavily for two minutes.

Last week, I swam 2,200 yards.

I encourage people to take it up. It’s easy on the body. It’s great for recovering from any athletic activity.

I also challenge anyone to come out and do the series. It’s every Monday in July. There are half-mile and one-mile swims.

On-site registration is from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m. Races begin at 6 p.m. Single race cost is $25 for pre-registration or $30 for the day of.

People also can do four races for $90 or all five for $100.

If people volunteer one race they get one free.

Per usual, SmartWool and Honey Stinger are providing swag for the event. 

If nothing else, come see me finish and show my mom that my skills go beyond dead man float and water slide connoisseur.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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