01 July 2009

The Final Training Weekend

The jig is up. I don’t like going to Dover to swim in the harbor. It is exhausting, painful, cold and miserable. In fact, I don’t know of anything in my life I have dreaded this much. I can barely sleep the night before because my heart is racing and my mind won’t turn off. Then, after the swim, now that I’m doing 6 hours in the hot sun, I radiate heat for days, sweating right through my clothes while I sit, stand and even sleep. I eat everything in site and since I’m supposed to gain as much weight as possible, this eating usually consists of junk food (which is really not my favorite).

Needless to say, knowing this would be my last weekend of training (and Saturday my last LONG swim), I was both dreading and anticipating the trips down. Fortunately, John (the Rotary Dad) offered to drive me down both days and crash at his place. This is an excellent option, as the food is amazing, the conversation is interesting and the sofas has powered recliners built in.

My other issue is that I like the “big game.” That is, I did 6 on the day I had to do six because I had to do six. On the actual day, I’ll [hopefully] swim to France because I have to swim to France. If you tell me to do something, I’ll just do it. Now, having made my qualifier and not actually enjoying the experience of swimming in the frigid harbor, I just want it all to be over with. Many have asked me, “if you knew what this was going to entail would you still have done it?” I am incredibly tempted to say “no.”

In the end, however, knowing it was my last swim and wanting to prove to myself that I could repeat six hours, I put my head down, got my mind drifting to the next six months (planning each and every day with explicit detail) and I took it one hour at a time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Unfortunately, the weather isn’t looking to great the next several days, which means I may be swimming toward the end of my tide and not near the beginning. I just want it to happen so I can get on with my life! 10-month build-up, 8 weeks training in Dover and now the waiting game...

Please send me happy thoughts. I’m in desperate need of MANY.


Kyle Taylor

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