Irrational Behavior

Sea Lions swim where we swim


Seal lions bit a few swimmers over the past few months. I have been sick and avoided swimming around the cove for the past few months.

Coincidence? Perhaps
Today, my improved health returned and self-imposed cove lap ban ended.
Coincidence? Definitely not!

In spite of my short attempts to stay acclimated to the cold water, it was tough getting back in today. Even with the warmer water temperatures this winter (53F today), my body wasn't pleased. But it was Sunday, and on Sunday, we swim.

The Cove Chasers were joined by about 15 other swimmers to celebrate February birthdays. We sang a round of Happy Birthday and some even enjoyed treats, cakes, sweets, and donuts before we left for the swim. In addition to the February babies, some Fast Kids even graced us with their wisdom, knowledge, and fastness.
Big group to celebrate and swim together!
When we got to the beach, the sniveling had reached epic proportions. Fortunately, the snivelers were overshadowed by the birthday-suit clad swimmers, some of whom made not so subtle entries into the water and even lingered, in their full glory, for a few extra moments before passing their personal points of no return.

Since I haven't had much time in the cold water this winter, I seriously considered a round trip beach. Seeing another Cove Chaser's teeth chatter reinforced my desire to turn back and head straight for the sauna. My rational mind retook control, and I walked in past the point of no return and began my swim.

The plan was to meet at the opening and then decide what to do. The remaining of the suited swimmers began their pursuit of the fast entry folks and we all regrouped at the opening. Or so I thought. By the time I made it to the opening, half the swimmers had taken off for the Gas House - swimming with the slack waters, anticipating the return back into the ebb - truly a bad ass move.

What remained of my confidence had now been shattered. With the Fast Kids and more acclimated swimmers heading west, I just wanted to get back to the beach. 

Was I cold? No
Was I tired? No
Had I completed a longer swim recently? No

Snivel snivel snivel...

While some of the mere mortals of the pod planned to swim around the outside of the San Francisco Muni Pier, and then reenter the cove through the gap, I planned to go back to the beach. Or so I thought. When I turned around and headed back into the cove, the ebb had already developed and began pushing me west. At this point, I knew fate was in control. I went with it and continued to swim westward along the pier.

Betty Jean escorted me around the cove and kept the sea lions at bay

I figured by the time I reached the gap, I could intercept the pod. And, if needed, my backup plan should I become hypothermic, was to swim to the beach and walk back to the South End.

When I got to the gap, the pod was just swimming through it. Swimmers can only make it through the gap when the tide is high enough to cover the barnacled rocks and the swells won't throw the swimmers into the pylons. Today was one of those days. The pod made it through and we continued our swim back to the beach. 40 minutes after I started my swim, I returned to the beach, cold and shaking.

Video: Steve making his way through the Gap

Over the past few months, I've done my best to avoid processed foods, foods with added sugar, and simple carbs. Today, I lost all my self-control as I passed the donuts on the way into the sauna. My irrational mind took over, and I feasted on an old-fashioned chocolate covered glazed donut. My irrational rationale convinced me I needed sugar to stop shaking. My rational rationale was mildly hypothermic.

Today was my first shower experience eating a donut. Not an experience I could have ever imagined or planned. Not even a single a crumb got dropped.
Birthday treats and donut temptations

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