A Fast Year
I have spent a lot of time looking back on the past year. It seems like I had just started telling people about this crazy idea I had, and now here I am. When I first dreamed this swim up, 12 hours didn't so long but today I spend a lot of time thinking about what Saturday will be like. I will be spending the better part of a day in the ocean. Thank goodness I got that ipod! In all honesty as much as Saturday excites me, it scares me as well.
In the beginning I was talking with a fellow named Simon Donato, who competes in running ultras. He passed on a lot of wisdom which I have carried with me over the past months. He said not to visualize the whole swim, but moments - significant portions of the swim. I do this to the best of my ability. I imagine entering the water for the first time and getting into an easy groove in the first few minutes. I imagine exiting and entering the water surrounding my short breaks. What lies between those moments will hopefully feel like a comfortable trance, lost in my under the sea tunes! Simon gave me advice about food prep and a few little things. The biggest and most useful piece of advice I received from him was that in order to stay motivated and accountable, I had to make the event bigger than me.
Since chatting with Simon I have become very vocal on social media, I have reached out to other media outlets and garnered some press. I have made the event bigger than me. I have absorbed myself so much in the community that I feel the support. I truly believe that the find words, support, and generosity shown by my community will keep me in the water when I start to struggle.
As the day gets closer I find myself in battle mode. There is a constant battle between my mind and my body. Often when my body is exhausted, my mind is working over time to keep myself from losing my positive mentality. On the other hand, when my body is in peak condition I become worrisome waiting for a tweak of the shoulder. As of right now, my body feels awful. But, there is no more time to worry.
As Saturday nears there is a greater emphasis on health - go figure. I am in massage and physio mode. At least once a week I check in with my mechanics who loosen this or adjust that to ensure I wont run out of steam. Although there are more aches and pains these past weeks, I trust that the next 3 days will see vast improvements. I expect that with my shorter swims, stretches, and body work that I will feel like a new woman come Saturday.
Over the past 2 weeks, particularly, I have taken the extra time to reflect on my actions, my aspirations, and the journey. It is very bitter sweet that the road is ending. I will be able to vary how I spend my free time a little bit more, and my conversations will revolve less around the pool. I am conflicted, however, with the closing of this huge dream I began years ago. The time spent on this goal has motivated and matured me. I feel as though I am different than I was a year ago. Not much, but just enough to appreciate certain things that I would have previously overlooked. I am extremely moved by the community and by the people I have met through the MS Society, and I am excited for the future. Ideally that future will still involve SwimMS - but hey, one step at a time! I am thrilled to now come face to face with the challenge I have been chasing. Thanks to those who have been part of my journey, and I invite you all to join me at Kits Beach on Saturday! THREE MORE DAYS!