Swimming With Starbucks

Swimming With Starbucks

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Many open water swimmers and triathletes head over to their local pool, an open water swim or competition with a Starbucks drink in hand. If not, they are bound to cross paths with one or more of the many Starbucks locations.

Starbucks, like other chain outlets, try to deliver the same drink every time anywhere.

But there are also Starbucks regulars who like to order customized caffeinated drinks made to their personal tastes (e.g., Tall, Half-Caff, Soy Latte or Grande Non-Fat Frappuccino With Extra Whipped Cream And Chocolate Sauce or Venti 1/2&1/2, 10 Pumps Vanilla, Extra Whip).

When we heard such orders, we thought if open water swims were described like personalized Starbucks orders, we might use some basic descriptions:

Short (8 ounces): under 1 km
Tall (12 ounces): 1-5 km
Grande (16 ounces): 5-10 km
Venti (20 ounces): 10-30 km
Trenta (31 ounces): over 30 km
Latte: whitewater
Iced: under 10ºC (50ºF)
Frappuccino: under 15ºC (59ºF)
Sugar-Free: sweet water (fresh water)
Half Sweet: a swim that is half in salt water, half in sweet water/fresh water
Half-Caff: a swim that is half in tranquil water, half in rough water
1/2 & 1/2: a swim that is half in tranquil water, half in rough water
Decaf: flat/tranquil water
Extra Whip: rough and turbulent conditions
No Whip: calm conditions
Cream: fog
Skim: small turbulence
Extra Whipped Cream: rough and turbulent with fog
Double: two-way crossing
Triple: three-way crossing
Quad: four-way crossing
Macchiato: Fast pace
Vanilla: all-day pace
No Foam: no surface chop
Extra Hot: warmer than 25ºC (77ºF)
Drizzle: light precipitation
An Extra Shot: an unexpected distance to swim
Skinny: tranquil, crystal-clear conditions
Caramel: churned-up conditions or muddy water
Cinnamon: rainbow
Dolce: dolphins
Hazelnut: turtles
Latte: tough swim with rain

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Steven Munatones