I am inviting you to share (should you choose) in one of my life dreams - to swim the English Channel. Perhaps while sharing this journey we may both be inspired.
This journey while rigorous will be fun, filled with many ups and downs but ultimately no different than life itself. It is the journey that defines oneself.
Please know upfront five things are important to me: my family, my god, your friendship, my community and the journey. Everything else follows. I have the utmost respect to know the first four tenants of my journey lead to the last and this is why I ask for your support?
Lets answer that nagging question WHY? For a moment, open your mind to when you were young and dreamed. As you got older you began to ask yourself, Why ......(you fill in the blank)? Seeking knowledge may have been your answer but deeper, wasn't there more? And today your wise enough to know it is the journey that matters as the result is a forgone conclusion to a successful journey?
For me "why" is simple - Can I swim across the English Channel? Asking"why" presumes you have an outcome, end or result already in mind otherwise why ask the question? Its the "how" that matters isn't it?
My journey is to fulfill one of my life long dreams - swimming the English Channel. It began many years ago when my parents signed me up for swim lessons in Indiana. Their desire to raise their kids in small town America was strong and grew from their up-bringing in rural Midwest states. Later they signed me up for the local swim club with the usual parental desire of helping their child become a better person by learning "life skills" via a sport that creates this opportunity through personal focus, challenge and team work. Thus my journey began and I didn't even know it?
So here are the first steps of my plan.
This blog will be the central place to update folks on where I am in this journey and to hopefully receive feedback. Ultimately I hope to incorporate charitable and maybe even sponsorship features.During this investigation phase getting the logistic's understood and time table is key. I am already swimming an average 20,000 yards per week (11 miles for you land lubbers) but this is just the beginning. I need to do this for a year to get the base needed and then increase up to 38,000 yards as the event nears. I am gathering input from many places, former channel swimmers, teammates on the local Masters swim club - some of whom are really good coaches and swimmers in their own rite, doctors, physiologists, etc. I am seeking the advice from actual channel experiences to formulate the road map.
Physical preparation is a two year effort and will have many hard tests just to check on progress, give myself an at ta-boy once and awhile and to ensure I scale-up correctly. In this early stage, I plan for one month of work for each mile but this will change as advice warrants. I would like to devise milestones along the way that build endurance, physical, cold water and mental experiences into the journey. For this I plan to seek input from those who have come before me like Marcia Cleveland, multi-time channel swimmer and author of Dover Solo who lives here locally among others.
Weather is a huge part of the equation during the swim and this I cannot control unless Poseidon or Oceanus decide to help. I will continue to swim in all types of good and bad weather, day or night and wavy or calm as I understand the channel can change very quickly.
The cold is another key factor and this requires steady acclamation leading up to the event. Warm showers are a thing of the past and finding cold swims 56f + are preferred. This will mean early spring and late fall practices in nearby Lake Michigan.