Pieces.

Today is exactly one month since my successful crossing of the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland. A “success” that has transpired with a very high cost; I almost died. A mental and physical journey that literally pushed me to the very edge of what is possible.

And today, after two very intense visits to the ER and hospitalizations in two countries in specialized respiratory and cardiac wards, followed by 12 days of bed rest, and a week of minimal activity, I am slowly feeling more like myself. As I emerge from this medical-induced stupor caused by countless drugs, antibiotics and pain medications that have swaddled me gently back to health; I am only just beginning to grasp the enormity of this journey.

Deeply humbled by the love and support that has carried me through this period, I feel very lucky to be alive and even luckier for all of the kind support I have received. It was both completely unexpected and profoundly touching.

A visual record of my swim has been meticulously set aside by Matt, yet to date I am still unable to review these images and video. Perhaps I am not yet ready to face the distress experienced – both by myself and my crew – and trigger scant memories that are at this time difficult to comprehend.

I will attempt to piece together this journey – bit by bit – in order to process this experience. No doubt it will take some time. Each of my Oceans Seven swims has been a self-exploration, yet this swim in particular has been acutely transformative. I know that I am forever changed and I look forward to the next chapter of my life, reexamining and rethinking as I move forward.

It is a tremendous psychological boost for one to feel that she can achieve any goal when she sets her mind to it. But what borders should be set and at what price?