Swimming with Team Total Training or TTT

Swimming with Team Total Training or TTT

I swam with Magdalena Stovickova Skrine and Roy Lester for most of the winter. They coach at Eisenhower Park and it’s conveniently located near my home. I never met Shawn Tannenbaum, the team’s captain/coordinator, or Peter Venturra, the owner of Team Total Training (TTT). Shawn is great at keeping everyone informed.  I met Shawn for the first time at an open water swim at Tobay Beach on Long Island. So far, I’ve been to three and they have been great!

Photo Courtesy Nigel Archer
Photo Courtesy Nigel Archer

The thing that makes Shawn’s open water swims so different is, he makes them fun. It’s not just swimming back and forth. He brings out big bright buoys that you swim around. Last week, he even had us go up on the beach and back into the water.

“Hey guys, who is racing this season?” he said.

A few people raised their hands including me. “Ummm, when you race, are you slowly getting out of the water or are you running out of the water?” he asked.

“Running,” many of us said.

“Then why didn’t you run out of the water onto the beach?” he asked. I laughed. The way he said it was so cute.

Obviously, he was right. So, we did it again. This time a lot faster than the first time.

We also swam in places I never would typically swim at Tobay. It was really cool.

I loved that everyone stayed together. Yes, there were some faster swimmers but it was a group endeavor not a race to see who can get to the finish line the fastest. I thought that was great!

I thought the swim was amazing and the best part for me, I got more than a mile of swimming in and didn’t even know it until I got out of the water!

Photo Courtesy Nigel Archer
Photo Courtesy Nigel Archer

Last night was just as awesome. Shawn lead the group around the Island that is directly across from the beach at Tobay. (I didn’t even know there was a little island there.) It was a blast! There were two groups, the faster group and the slower group. (I was in the slower group.) Nigel Archer was in the back on a surf board.

“Hilary, you’re kicking too much,” he told me. “You need to conserve your energy and let the wetsuit do its job.”

He was right. I tried to think that I was carrying a buoy between my legs and just kick a little. “Just glide through the water,” he said. It all started to click.

When we finally got back to the “bonsai” tree (or the white buoy), I looked down at my watch. We swam nearly 2500 yards! I looked at one women who smiled at me. “This is the most awesome swim,” I said to her. “Yes, it’s my happy place,” she replied. I looked at her smiled and shook my head in agreement.

Thanks Shawn, Peter, Nigel and the entire TTT crew for a great Tuesday and Thursday night swim at Tobay Beach at 6:30 pm.  Roy and Maggie swim Friday mornings at 6:45 am at Neptune Beach in Long Beach. (One of these mornings I’ll get the nerve to actually go into the ocean and swim with them. Until then, it’s Tobay for me.)