The Awakening.

For most of the months, weeks, and days spent training this year, the calendar seemed oddly inconsequential. As this procession of time marched ever so slowly, I felt safeguarded from the personal expectations of my swim. Swaddled in the comfort of a carefully controlled routine, I diligently followed my plan. All I needed to do was think about my next training session. My upcoming swim, Tsugaru Strait, was as elusive as the month of July. She seemed so far away.

As the cradle of my days rocked gently side to side, I slipped into a glorious slumber filled with seemingly endless possibilities. Training swims, though tiring and at times grueling, were softened by remarkable friendships with other swimmers. Laughter and silliness punctuated each swim with such joy, my heart felt full and content.  At times, though fleeting, visions of Tsugaru would dance gracefully through my dreams. But that is all. Tsugaru was simply an exquisite adventure I yearned for in a distant and unfamiliar land. 

Yet somewhere along the way, time became impatient. Now, a mere 7 days from flying to Japan, I am struck with an urgency and awareness of that which lays before me. No longer dancing, Tsugaru is sprinting frenetically – crazed - in a way that scares me. Creeping through the tiny crack of my bedroom window, a cool breeze drifts across the room. My skin prickles with goosebumps, resuscitating me into reality.