Three full days after my swim, I find a strange state of disbelief.
I’ve watched the Hawaii News Now video, I’ve read the articles online, I’ve seen the GPS tracker indicating my painstaking path across the Channel. I’ve seen the photos of my finish and I’ve celebrated my swim with some very special people in my life. And yet, today – 3 days later - I feel somewhat detached. I have all the tell tale requisite aches and pains. I have the chafing marks. I have jellyfish stings. And I’m tired. But this swim is still very much an out of body experience. My consciousness is out of step with my physical being.
I feel like the demons I slayed that were within me and that were my driving motivation for doing this swim have been ceremoniously put to rest in the eerie Kaiwi Channel of the bones. All that remains are the physical manifestations of the swim: my beat-up, torn-up shell. And so, while there is a sense of quiet relief there also remains a sense of disbelief that all that tormented me following the relay is gone.
I can’t believe that was me and it is incomprehensible that I swam for 19 hours and 27 minutes, 48 seconds (but who’s counting?). But everyone tells me I did it. My body tells me I did it. And I remember parts of it but the emotional impact is much much stronger.
I feel light with relief, unburdened, not unlike a butterfly bidding farewell to the pupa left behind on the branch that swayed violently through the night and day for almost 20 hours…