Posted: 01/11/2014 at 23:26
Open water can be scarey to begin with. Some people take to it straight off, others not. Its worth for the first time just taking time to get used to it. Swim the smallest loop in the lake or just out to the first bouy and back. Find something on the horizen to aim for - a tree or similar. Try and get a lesson on how to sight and go with a friend first time. Where abouts do you live?
You don't need to tread water if wearing a wettie. Well done for learning to relax - do the same in open water and you will just float upright. Honest! Yes you will splutter and cough sometimes but it doesn't matter, you don't drown in the pool so you wont drown in the lake. Just stop, refocus and get going again.
Sounds like you are starting well to me. I got in the bad habit of only breathing to one side and now I'm having to force myself to breathe to my "bad" side.
Its a great sport, very sociable and addictive.