This is a picture of the lake near my house that I swim in when I either want to get in some practice with open water or when the pool I normally swim in is closed. Lovely, right?
I have mixed feelings about swimming in this particular lake. On the one hand, I think open water swimming is great exercise and is quite a bit harder than swimming in the pool. I also know I need to do it to be ready for any triathlons that I do in this area, as the all have lake swims. On the other hand, this lake has a mud bottom. There is zero visibility– when I put my arm in the water, I can’t see past my elbow. This sometimes freaks me out, if I let my mind wander to what could be in the water with me. Normally I’m fine and the only real issue I’ve had is that I ran into some rocks once when I swam across the lake.
When I swim here my husband and son always come with me, both for safety and because the baby loves the water. They stay near the shore and the baby happily splashes around and squishes the sand between his fingers and toes. He usually ends up looking like a breaded cutlet by the time we leave. I swim and look toward the shore occasionally to keep my self swimming in a straight line.
We went to the lake early this morning, as we always do, wanting to avoid boats and teenagers. When we got there I saw a few fisherman out on the lake, moving their boats quietly around. I was the only swimmer and I set out to swim for about 30 minutes.
I was swimming, feeling good, keeping my mind in the non-freak out space, counting strokes and breathing steadily. The workout was going well and at minute 25, I turned to breath and heard my husband calling my name. He’s never interrupted my swim before.
“Honey, I thought you should know– there’s a body in the water”
“What? A body?”
“Yeah, someone just came by to use the phone. There a body floating in the lake by the fishing dock. I didn’t know if you’d want to keep swimming or not, but I thought I should let you know.”
Um. No. I didn’t so much want to keep swimming at that point. I hustled back to the shore and as we started drying the baby off, the first police car came down the road. Then came the sheriff and several cars from the Dept. of Natural Resources (the lake is located in a state park). It was surreal. There was a dead body in the lake. Someone had died there, just yards away from where the baby tried to eat sand.
I feel terribly sad for the family of the man who drowned. The local news is reporting that foul play is not suspected but they haven’t released any other information. I’m sure this will be big news in my small town and I’m honestly not sure when I am going to go to the lake again. I should probably go tomorrow and just get back into it, but I suspect I’ll have a hard time not thinking about the creepiest swim ever that I had today.