I decided to do the Great North Swim for a number of reasons. Much of that was to do with doing something for me in a new life as a Dad that means doing nearly everything for someone else (happily I might add), curiosity about how I'd do, having a goal to keep my swimming alive and, well, just seeing what happened along the way.
There were some setbacks along the way, like having to remodel my stroke, there were welcome surprises like enjoying hardcore training in a group again. However, behind all that was the event looming closer and closer. I loved how it felt when the swim morphed from an lovely idea, to something I slowly realised I actually had to go through with, to a creeping reality. It resolved itself last week to something I felt I was ready for last week - I felt energised by the challenge, knowing I was ready, but still afraid. Not by finishing or doing it well, I had put the work in, but knowing it was going to hurt...and at once relishing and hating it.
There's a moment for anyone doing something challenging, especially sport. Just before you start, where you take a deep breath and ask, "Do I really want to do this?" Then the joy in knowing that you do, of course you do. It makes you feel alive, it makes you feel like not one of th ordinary people, it strips away all the extraneous rubbish that life in the 21st century entails, you're just you making a choice.
That's what it was feeling like last week. Then I found out it was postponed, now it's been canceled. And I feel like somebody stick a pin in me and all the air is leaking out. I just couldn't be bothered to get up this morning and go swimming.
Well balls to that! People have sponsored me, it can't just tail off into nothing. So I'm going to do a swim marathon in exactly two weeks time. That's 5K, or 3.1 miles metres non-stop. No, that's too easy. Let's say 6K - more than an official swim marathon, 3.7 miles. I reckon I can do that in 2 hours flat. It will hurt, but that's the point. That's 240 lengths of a 25m swimming pool. Cool. I've haven't done a swim marathon since I was ten years old. I've never done 6k - not even in a cumulative training session.
There you go mean spirited bastard fate, take that.
(I'm going to regret this)