Positioning my body cautiously towards the edge of the mountain, the furious beating of my heart juxtaposes with the delicate and carefree movement of my hair, billowing in the wind. Having spent months ascending this summit, diligently trudging through a succession of valleys and peaks, I stand before the final cliff face. Every cell in my body now ignites with anticipation.

With less than a week to go before my upcoming English Channel swim window – five precious days picked 18 months prior based on the availability of my boat pilot and the tidal movement of water across the Channel, something is building within me: a restlessness - at times difficult to articulate - yet wonderfully energizing. I feel incredibly alive. 

Emotions stir frenetically amongst an occasional but paralyzing twinge of nervousness. Over and over again my emotions take flight, only to be immobilized by a stark and contrasting stillness. Transfixed, this brief moment blankets all my emotions. But soon, excitement percolates beneath its suffocating surface.

Peaking out over the edge of the mountain, a feeling of vertigo forces me to focus, interrupting my thoughts. My plane bound for London leaves tomorrow.

It’s time for the final ascent. This is the point of no return. And I love it.