My oldest child Christina, is always looking for new adventures. This summer's challenge was the 2.1 mile Point to LaPointe open water swim on Lake Superior from Bayfield to Madeline Island in Northern Wisconsin.
The swim was a fundraiser for the Bayfield Recreational Center. Bayfield is a half hour north of our house and almost as far north in Wisconsin and you can go. LaPointe is a fun tourist town across the bay on nearby Madeline Island, which is part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
When Christina signed up to boldly go where no Vik has gone before, the family rolled their eyes and said "encouraging" things like,
"Why would anyone want to do that?"
"Are you sure you can swim that far?"
"Will there be lifeguards?"
A determined young lady, she is. She planned. She trained. She prepared.
As the big day approached I pondered how to see the race. Watching her swim would be harder than watching a cross-country meet. I could watch the swimmers take off but couldn't get to the other side to see her finish. Then I had a great idea. Every swimmer has someone kayak near them in case anything goes wrong. A friend from church agreed to be Christina's kayak support. If he took a two-person kayak, I could be the second person. Brilliant, I know.
I asked Brendon if I could ride over with him. He politely asked if I had talked to Christina about this. No, I hadn't, but I didn't see why she'd care - she'd be in the water.
Christina walked in the room about then and got wind of my request. She wasn't so polite. "Mom, you can't do this. Our support teams have to be experienced kayakers. You've never been in a kayak."
I didn't see why that mattered as long as Brendon was experienced. I would be just a passenger, he'd do all the work. :)
The full impact of my request hit me and I knew she was right, but didn't want to admit it. When I stopped to think about it, I probably wouldn't want to be out one mile from shore in a small kayak. Only if the lake was very calm would I even consider it. The odds of me bailing were high. Plus the race started at 7:00 am. Watching people swim that early is not this nightowl's idea of a good time. I withdrew my request, but not because Christina didn't think I could do it.
About this time someone remembered that I had a Ladies breakfast to attend that same morning. Drats. I'd forgotten all about that. Keith and a friend ended up going to watch the race. They saw her take off and took the ferry over to the island (way easier than kayaking) and watched her finish, while my friends and I ate eggs and bacon at the Lake Rock Cafe.
450 swimmers participated in three divisions: Male competitive, Female competitive, and community swimmers. Christina was in the last group. The men left first, then the women, and then Christina's group.
See the front kayak hole - that could have been my spot.
Instead Brendon had a young man from his soccer team kayak over with him.
(Later, after the race, Brendon's Mom said, "I don't know how much help he'd of been if she struggled. Would he just be marking the spot where she went down?" I'm so glad she hadn't shared that cheerful thought before the race.)
"I think I can, I think I can!"
She finished with a time of 1hour and 55 minutes
Afterwards she kayaked two miles back to Bayfield with Brendon, worked six hours, and rode four hours to Minneapolis for a party. Kids these days.
Here's a one minute video of her finish.
Bless her determined heart, she was one of the last people in her age group to finish. But we're all amazed that she made it and think that simply attempting and finishing is a wonderful thing. I'm pretty sure I couldn't swim two hundred yards even if it mean winning a year's supply of free Taco Bell Chicken Burritos.
We're proud of Christina and enjoy vicariously participating in her adventures.
Way to go Sweetie!