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Valerie Farber

In by Jacqueline Broner

I have always been passionate about swimming but I have never been an ocean gal.  I was afraid of the waves and sea life and disliked the beach with the relentless sun.  Pools and mountain lakes were my steady go-to’s as a child and through my adult years.  It was not until the summer of 2020 that I ventured to the beach and CIBBOWS, carrying all my fears and anxiety about the big, wild blue. After a year of curiosity, self-compassion, and supportive community, I truly fell in love with the magic and mystery of ocean swimming.  Now, I find nothing more fascinating and (surprisingly) calming than moving with a living, breathing body of water. As a swim instructor, I have taught lessons through Asphalt Green, Imagine Swimming, Seattle Parks and Rec, and my own …

Paige Churchman

In by Jacqueline Broner

Paige Churchman was never the same after her first swim at Grimaldo’s Chair. She stepped into the water as a retired Citigroup VP thinking, “I wanna swim across Lake Champlain. But laps at the Y ain’t gonna do it.” So here she was at a CIBBOWS clinic in 2016 wondering if she was good enough. Were these serious athletes who would roll their eyes at an old newbie? So she donned the cap with the CIBBOWS mermaid and listened to Lesa about testing the current and knowing your landmarks and to Sil about the femoral artery and the deep dive response and breathing slowly.  And then they were all in the water being lifted and dropped by the waves. She felt the pull of the tide coming in, and something deep inside stirred awake. And …