I helped Diana, with Swim4Vets, plan and organize our Catalina channel relay for almost a year. I thought I was going to have a long blog post about it, but…? I don’t.
The night portion was more intimidating than I’d imagined and my leg of the relay where there was light was more beautiful and fun than I ever could have dreamed. We had dolphins swimming with us for quite a bit of the way. The water was calm and warm.
Coach Kevin paddled on his paddle board and my dad kayaked along side us. It was nice getting to share this extra experience with the both of them. Kevin has helped me so much in swimming. Not just via training, but also with my confidence. I think he has more confidence in my abilities than I do. My dad, I think, is finally starting to understand why this is so important to me. I mean I don’t fully get why I’m fascinated with swimming the channel, but I am. My dad said that he felt like an anchovie paddling out there at night. I think he also thought I was a lot more afraid than I truly was.
We finished our swim in 12 hours and 3 minutes. Upon landing on the rocky shore I tripped and dislocated two of my toes. We also raised $1,400 for Father Joe’s Villages.
After finishing that relay Kyle and I spent the rest of the week in Avalon and Two Harbors vacationing, eating sushi, and drinking beer.
After we were home I was swimming in the cove with Ken and Carol. Carol invited me to join them for their relay. It was a TON OF FUN. The two teams swimming consisted of experienced marathon swimmers and all around nice people. I went on as an alternate, and ended up buddy swimming the last leg with Carol and Ashley.
Watching Grace and Forrest swim, with their long smooth strokes, I saw what Kevin means when he echoes, “if you want to do a long swim you need to take long strokes.” Their swimming looks similar to a comtinuous catch-up drill.
Talking to a Ashley about her 18 or 19 hour solo swim made me nervous, but I also admired her stamina both physical and mental.
Carol urged me not to worry. I’ll have kevin training me, and I’ll be just fine. When I talked to Grace she smiled big and told me that I was going to have a blast. I’ll have my friends and coaches there to cheer me along and push me when I need to stop being a baby.