Friday, July 3, 2015

It is paperwork is complete but more training needed


In my last post, I promised to send more updates about my qualifying swim.  The reason for the delay was simple - I didn't know if my swim would actually count.  Why?  The temperatures wavered between 59F and 63F and the qualifying instructions specifically mandate a 6-hour swim in 61F (16C) water or colder.  The truth of the matter is that the water was cold and certainly as cold as 61F throughout the day.  Unfortunately for me, the bright sunshine kept the top layer a little warmer and even warmed it up throughout my swim.   One foot beneath the surface and the water quickly dropped by a few degrees.  I mentioned that point in my letter to the secretary (Kevin Murphy) of the CS&PF and he accepted my swim.  So, it is official, I am now done with my paperwork.  Here are a few great pictures that document my steady progress toward the EC:

First, the email I received after submitting my paperwork.  I was overjoyed to read say the least.

Next, I saw the confirmation that all my paperwork was in order.  My registration - as it says on the bottom line - is complete!

Lastly, here is what I looked like after the swim.  Note the "butt paint" amply applied to my upper body?

Patrick (L) and Mark Bintley (R) just after the 6-hour swim.  Mark stayed in the water for the last 20 minutes and we chatted to pass the time.  Not swimming during that time made for a really cold exit.  Photo courtesy of Madhu Nagaraja.

The post would not be complete without acknowledging the folks behind my success.  Many thanks to the LOST swimmers Madhu Nagaraja, Loren King, Mark Bintley, Suman Joseph, Mike Morton, Rob Kent, Ross Shepherd, Rick Born, Lynn and Christine for coming out to swim with me on Friday and Saturday.  I also want to thank my wife Kathy for paddling all day alongside and putting up with my requests for food, drink, and direction.  She was a real trooper.  Kathy also hopped in the water - fully enclosed in a triathlon wetsuit - and swam alongside me while Patrick (my son) paddled the kayak.   So Patrick was also a great support.  He put up with hours of monotony and only one hour of kayaking.  I hope that the EC is not boring for him.  He won't have WiFi or any modern luxuries to keep him busy.  Oh yeah, he'll be supporting me.  The lack of WiFi might be a blessing for me.

With respect to the LOST swimmers....

Madhu and his wife Suman opened up their home to me and my family.  They hosted us prior to the swim, made sure we were setup and prepared to enter the lake in a safe way.  I cannot say enough about their support other than to sum it up as simply fantastic.  Madhu continues to offer me great support through email exchanges.  He has been and will continue to be instrumental in my channel swim success.  Thank you Mahdu.

During the swim, Madhu, Loren, Mark, Ross, Lynn and Christine each swam with me for a few hours.  My first three hours were solo.  Kathy paddled alongside for the first two and then swapped out the kayak for her wetsuit while Patrick jumped aboard the kayak and paddled alongside.  After her hour, she reboarded the kayak for the final 3 hours.  The LOST swimmers rotated in and out to keep me sufficiently challenged.  Mahdu orchestrated most of their participation.  It really was an awesome day thanks to the entire team effort.

Rob put together a really nice piece on the day after my swim.  You can read his bit here.  I am a LOST swimmer for life!  These folks are great.  Can't wait to go back up to Oakville, ON in the next few weeks to swim with them again.  If you are ever in the area on a Saturday morning, join them for a dip.  They are the most hospitable group I ever encountered.  To say I feel fortunate to find them and swim with them is an understatement of a lifetime. 

Below is a great picture from the day after.  Only two non-wetsuit swimmers (captured in the photo) that day and one still has butt paint on from the day before.  Yep, I'm the pasty white guy whose feet are too sensitive for the rocky beach.  Thanks again everyone for the wonderful experience.

Rob Kent wrote: "28 swimmers and 61F/15C .... and some HUGE waves!!!  Nice."  Yes, it was a nice day to be out on the lake.

With my paperwork complete, I intend to hone in on the crucial elements of the swim - fitness, feeding, and feeling good in the water.  Next weekend, I plan to swim a 10K event in Fire Island, NY.  If you are in the area and want to come out to enjoy the water, drink a beer afterwards, or just meet up for a nice day on the beach, feel free to do so.  The swim starts mid-morning on July 11th, 2015.  Here is a the flyer for more details:

Expect more updates soon.  Thanks for following along.

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