The training camp is a lot about stripping- taking of your wetsuit is one thing, but revealing your strength in another. Not only you need to send your demons away, but you need to fill your heart with self-confidence and hope. To look deep inside in order to find what makes you what you are, and that source of power, like a shining stone, is what will help you in future to make the one extra mile needed.
For me, the fourth day was a lot about personal goals, since the day before was far from my expectation. I had to reorganize my mind and thoughts, and to be able to swim in freezing water for 3 hours.
What’s works for me is not to think, just be there, in my mission, stroke by stroke. I find songs that keep me cheerful, many of them use the word “sun”. I think about the people I love, which help me ignore the pain (yes. It is painful to swim in the cold). I often think about what a friend once told me – “the cold water are not easy for neither of us, but nothing will happen to you, just keep on swimming”. So I did.
Maybe it was the stress decrease, or the 3 days acclimatization, but it wasn’t so cold for me as before. I was singing to myself, watching the undersurface plants and the fishes. I even sent a smile to the only jellyfish I met on my way. Every time I came for a feeding I was colder but happier, felt the confidence of a job well done. My lips turned slightly blue, but nothing could stop me from finishing my 3 hours swim.
I was so happy when it was over. The crew wanted to help me to the boat, but I was strong enough to climb the ladder by myself. That is not an easy task for an amputee, to drag yourself up the ladder step by step, using your limb for balance. But since I could, that assures me that I could swim longer if necessary.
My journey just begun. Many dreams were born in that week. Some will be completed, most will remain like beautiful bubbles in my mind or as Cliff the trainer …will be stored on a dusty shelf.
Swimmer Diana Nyad, just after finishing her unbelievable swim from Cuba to Miami, and reaching that unbelievable goal in her sixth attempt, said:
“One is, we should never ever give up,” said a slightly dazed Nyad, whose slurred remarks were received with a roar by the crowd.
“Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dreams”.
“Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team,” Nyad concluded her speech and then was placed on a stretcher, where she immediately began receiving fluids before being taken to a hospital for examination.
I’m proud to be part of a great team, to be who I am, no matter how many legs I’ve got, how old I am or how cold / salty water the water is, I will make it.
Everything is possible.
I made it, I have the certificate for English channel relay … hold your fingers for team 11 legs – swim slot from July 10th to July 18th 2016.