From Hawaiian to Irish Waters...

From Hawaiian to Irish Waters

When Teale was growing up on the Island of Oahu, she and her mom participated in Hawaii’s “rough water” swim.

For those who know my wife, this is perfectly in character—I once watched Teale (and her mom… and our kids!) refuse to leave the water, even after a shark was spotted 😳

Now, as we revisit my rainier, colder homeland of Ireland, she is also training for that same Hawaiian swim…

And so to prepare, Teale is competing in the Gaelforce 2KM open water swimming race on Lough Derg—a lake in the middle of Ireland.

Here’s how it went.

7/18/22 - 4 Days Before The Race

Teale and Amanda smiling for a picture by the pool, wearing wetsuits, with Figs cut off in the background (not wearing a wetsuit).

“Let’s go swim in this awesome pool by the sea,” they said. 

“Why the wet suits?” I asked. “How come I don’t have one?”

“Oh we are training for our 2km race this Saturday, otherwise we wouldn’t wear them.”

Well it turns out the pool is by AND IN THE SEA… literally!

First time swimming a kilometer in freezing-my-wee-fellas-off temperature.

See how they didn’t even really include me in the photo.

Amanda and Teale, I have to seriously consider if I will trust you both on a swimming adventure again!


7/19/22 - 3 Days Before The Race

The gods of the sea have defended me… a little too aggressively!

Teale’s wetsuit gave her a rash 😳

Now she’s planning to swim the big race WITHOUT one… GULP.

For the uninitiated, a wetsuit:

A. provides insulation to keep you warm in super cold temps

B. helps increase your buoyancy to keep you afloat (via air cells in the insulation)

and C. reduces friction so you glide through the water like a slippery racing fish.

Basically, it’s a LOT harder to race without one.

7/22/23 - The Day of The Race

Teale is competing today!

Here is one of her 1000 failed attempts to get me to race with her… Even though I swim a kilometer in the time she swims a mile!

Someone needs to see the relentless hounding I am subject to.

But I can be the bigger person and support Teale enthusiastically today!

Go get ’em Teale!

Crossing The Finish Line

Teale in the water at the finish line!

…She won the whole race!!

She came 1st out of all men and women who swam with no wetsuits (& the most respect is given to the no-wetsuit swimmers).

In 50º water—big drop from our 80º Hawaii water!

She came 5th overall including people who swam with wetsuits. Approx 170 raced. She is a beast!

Figs and Teale taking a selfie by the water after Teale's race.
Teale after the race ♥

I am so proud of her.

I was her agent.

We really were a team… even if I was on the banks of Lough Derg drinking Irish tea and eating all the swimmers’ post-race scones.

Teale's earned a glass of Guinness.

Cheers to Teale, and to you.


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Figs is the creator of the Empathi method and the certification process for Empathi coaches. He’s also Chief Empathi Officer, husband, dad, wounded-healer and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as a champion for healthy relationships. Figs’ life’s mission is to help couples feel more connected.

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