A few years ago, I embarked on a digital moments project. The goals of that project were to document my life, using small, often mundane, fragments of my day and to get in the habit of using and experimenting with digital video. It was such a fun and useful project. Even now, every couple of months, we (STA, FWA, RJP and me) sit down and watch different “moments.” I want to start creating these again this fall. Maybe something different this time? Instead of just creating stand alone moments, sometimes I’ll try to write about the footage. Here’s my first one: Swimming at the dock.
Just outside of the orange buoys at the little beach at Lake Nokomis, there is a small platform that you can swim to, sit on or dive off of. I call it “the dock.” I can’t remember how long it has been there, but for the past three years, it has been one of my key landmarks (or watermarks?) at the lake.
This summer, the dock played a big part in two of my favorite swimming practices:
The dock at the 50th street beach. Video shot from lifeguard's chair.
one: While swimming across the lake during open swims (on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays), the dock served as the halfway point of my 1200 yard loop, from the big beach to the little beach and back again. The first year I swam across the lake in 2013, I would frequently stop as I swam from one beach to the next, to get my bearings and to take a rest. The second year, I successfully swam across the lake without stopping, but I always took a brief break at the little beach before heading back to the big beach. This year, I swam in loops, starting and ending at the big beach. It was fun to circle around the dock without stopping. Sometimes kids would be sitting on the dock watching the swimmers. I’d glance at them as I turned my head to breathe or lifted just my eyes, like an alligator gliding through the water, to see where I was going.
two: Occasionally, when she wasn’t in camp, my daughter RJP would come with me to the lake and we would swim out to the dock together. After making sure she made it up the ladder, I’d swim around the three white buoys that marked the lap swimming area. After I rounded the third buoy, RJP would jump off the dock and meet me. We’d chat for a few seconds, then she’d climb back up and I’d start another loop. After a few loops, we’d swim back closer to shore and do handstands in the water. Then we’d sit in the sun and read.