January 7th 2012
I wake up early. Really early. I check my watch. 1:34am. SLEEEEEEEEEP. 3am. "Come on, go back to sleep," I tell myself. SLEEEEEEEEEP. Okay. I look at my watch. Its 4:13am. Ugh. But I can't sleep...
I have a few things on my mind at the moment. I'm also trying REALLY REALLY hard to focus on my next big swim goal. Its a big one. I'm equally excited and terrified. I LOVE having a goal. I just love it. I've always loved pushing my mind and my body to new levels. I love the task of achieving the required focus and, thanks to my years as a ballerina, I know I can 'dial in' the discipline at anytime. And now is that time. Because I know this next swim will surely take my mind and my body on a personal journey never before experienced. Its practically guaranteed. And I can't wait.
But there's MUCH more time and training ahead. And so I train.
Its a BEAUTIFUL winter day in San Francisco... its so sunny and unseasonably warm.
I have a great 7500 yard double Masters swim workout at 7:15am. Despite the lack of sleep and having the flu (my first flu in over 2 years!!) I feel gloriously powerful. I guess the time off during the week of Christmas and New Year worked.
Its just as well because swim NUMERO DOS of the day is up next. At 12pm, I meet Vito at the boat. He's kindly offered to take a few of us outside the Golden Gate Bridge for some extra open-water swimming. I'm SO excited. How can this EVER get old??? Good friends, ocean and sun. WOO!
We decide to jump in underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, ride the ebb and head towards Point Bonita. Three of us jump. Vito, Marshall and I. WOO!
I quickly find my rhythm... and the water feels SO GOOD. SO GOOD. I can feel the ebb push me forward and just relax into my swim. After a while, Marshall and Vito decide to get back on the boat. Now its just me. I concentrate on my stroke and enjoy the movement of the water.
Suddenly I feel what I think is a strong current right underneath my stomach. Wow. That was strange. I stop. Vito yells "DOLPHINS!!!!!!" "They just swam underneath you!!!!!!!"
OMG. OMG!!!! Wanting them to do it again, I resume swimming. I breathe to my right and I spot them. I SEE THEM!!!!!!! Swimming on my right are 2 pairs of dolphins. OMG!!! THEY'RE REALLY SWIMMING NEXT TO ME! 20 yards away!!! I think I just died and went to heaven...
Its actually not unheard of for dolphins to "visit" swimmers while they swim. I've always liked to think of them as Sea Angels - guiding and protecting us as we swim. In fact, one of my friends reminded me that dolphins made an appearance during his English Channel swim, and he figured they were purposefully delivering a message. And that message was simply this: everything is going to be okay. I think that's what they were telling me too. Everything is going to be okay.