Grand Lake swimmer appreciates opportunity to help Heart of the Mountain Hospice |

Grand Lake swimmer appreciates opportunity to help Heart of the Mountain Hospice

To the Editor:

Well, I did make it from beach to beach for Grand Countyâa‚¬a„¢s first ever open water swim for Heart of the Mountain Hospice. I was last out of 24 swimmers; at least I wasnâa‚¬a„¢t dead last.

My swim time was 32 minutes but you would think by the way the crowd went wild when I finally got my pink shark fin to shore, I was out there for the entire p.m. Thanks everyone for the cheer.

Here is what I will do for preparation next time:

âa‚¬Â¢ Warm up before getting into the water. I did ride my bike from the Grand Lake Swim Beach to Point Park but I still entered the water cold.

âa‚¬Â¢ Check out your costume (if you plan on wearing one) on all planes of your body i.e., back stroke, side stroke, doggy paddle, whatever. The pink fin was cute but quite the drag in the water.

âa‚¬Â¢ If they say you can wear swim fins, and you are a weak swimmer, get the biggest you can find.

âa‚¬Â¢ Swim, swim, swim. Swim as much as possible, not just for the event but because it is good for you and practice in open water. I did but there is no such thing as to much practice.

âa‚¬Â¢ Try not to get to caught up in the event âa‚¬a€ it causes anxiety especially when the Grand County Emergency Medical Team is hovering behind you. Just a little, kind side note to the Rescue Squad: Please keep enough space between the swimmer and the boat. The fumes can be a hinder. Try to have faith in the swimmer, even if they are not instilling confidence in you. They are probably doing better then you think.

Now back to why I was out there in the first place. I wanted to raise funds and awareness to this beautiful and terribly needed organization. The Heart of the Mountains Hospice strives to create options with dignity and integrity in providing high quality home hospice care for individuals and their support systems within the community of Grand County. For my first try, I raised more than three times the amount of funds that was required without really even trying. After the swim, I was having lunch with my daughter, Hollie, in Grand Lake and was given an additional donation by a man from Nebraska who just happened to hear about the event. Thanks, Mitch.

I am so proud of all of the people who made the first ever Grand County Hospice swim possible and thanks to everyone who volunteered their time. A special thanks to my very own personal water angel, Dan McMurray. I will be there next summer to raise lots more money for a cause that I believe in with all of my heart and soul.

Karen Conger