For me, these swims are not just athletic events. They are unique journeys of the self, where I am given the opportunity to push my mind and body through unimaginable spaces.
Beginning with the first day of training, I farewell the protected confines of my current state of being and set off down a new winding path overrun with obstacles - expected and unexpected. Often times, I am alone in these ever-changing surroundings. Excitement oscillates through my body interspersed with equal amounts of fear and vulnerability. And there is always something new to learn about myself.
Sometimes, I stride effortlessly across grand expanses devoid of steep and scary ravines. Other times I crawl desperately on my hands and knees over almost insurmountable inclines of self-doubt. It can feel as though I am not making any progress.
Then, without warning, a brief clearing in the path reveals itself. Finally bathed in the warm sun peaking though the exposed canopy, I dare to take a moment to reflect. Turning my head over my shoulder I look back towards the path behind me. With so many memories along the way, my heart is full and purposeful. Yet I am also overcome with disbelief and emotion. After months of seemingly endless training and anticipation, how is possible that I am now standing near the precipice of the next chapter in my journey?