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Friday, September 18, 2015

Objectives are journeys...not destinations

Greetings friends, family, and co-conspirators of adventure,

I am back and settled into a routine after my English Channel attempt.  Well, the truth is that it was no attempt at all.  Mother Nature decided it was not my time.  Luck played more of a role in this objective than I figured but I still feel satisfied with the outcome.  Did I want to swim the Channel?  You bet.  Was I disappointed in not being able to swim?  Yes, to a degree.  I met some fantastic people, learned a good bit about the swim conditions, and picked up some excellent tips for future marathon swims.  The journey, in other words, made the outcome tolerable. 

A quote - misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson - sums up my thoughts on this objective.  Everything in life is a journey if you choose to adopt that perspective.  Each objective, goal, or striving I identify and seek presents me with opportunities to see the world, meet great people, and learn from the experience.  Learning is the main reason why I want to climb, swim, and sail to exotic locations for long periods.  I learn about myself along the way.  The English Channel taught me something I didn't anticipate - I enjoy the journey often more than the destination.  

Given that I was unable to even attempt the swim, I still feel fortunate.  Why?  I have learned more in that one week in Dover than I could learn in any book or during any swim.  The marathon swimmers both taught me and entertained me.  They welcomed me and my family with open arms.  I feel completely indebted to them and intend to repay them in kind.  From the first step onto Dover beach, I knew I was with my kind of people - the ones who extend a hand without knowing you.  They were warm and friendly from the start.

So, what is next?  I am busily organizing a triple crown attempt for next summer.  The marathon swimming triple crown consists of the English Channel, Catalina Channel, and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (or MIMS as most swimmers call it).  Here are a few articles to let you know what goes into a triple crown attempt:

1.  ESPN (of all web destinations) has an excellent summary of the three events - complete with some details not found in most other sources.  

2.  A list of all swimmers who completed the triple crown gives you a good idea about how rare the feat is today.  Sure, there are 119 people on the list (as of Sept. 16th, 2015) but that ranks as rare in the world of endurance challenges.  

3.  What can be worn during the swims?  I get that question all the time - well, at least frequently over the past few months.  Here are some (un)official rules that govern some events.  All events in the triple crown abide by them.  

So there you have it!  I am busily organizing these swims for next summer.  My aim is to complete the triple crown after I climb Denali with my friend Dave Williams (aka Mr. Sea2Summit7).  More updates on my swims to follow.  Oh, I will also post about my Denali plans shortly.  Stay tuned....