I was always going to be the last swimmer of our group. It’s just the way the bookings worked.
My sports psychologist, Paul and I worked on this scenario before I left Australia: the other three would cross and I’d be left alone training and waiting.
As it has happened I haven’t been left alone at all. My now successful channel swimming mates have been nothing but considerate and encouraging about me going last and have gone for a short break allowing me some space. Those who can are coming back for my return to basecamp and there are still swimming friends and supporters here along with my sister, Jacqui and brother in law, David who will both be on the boat with James.
My daughters, Ellen and Mary are on their way from Europe where they have been holidaying with their mother. My mum Pat, youngest sister Maria, niece Mardia and cousin Mary will be here when I finish. I have been in contact with my sons Luke and Patrick in Australia and I have their blessings. Other friends and family have showered me with messages of support.
With all the love and support about it’s hard not to get emotional but that’s what Paul and I worked on – staying calm and focused while enjoying the success of others and living in the moment. There’ll be no emotion until the job’s done.
Until a few minutes ago I was going tonight. My team spent the day busying themselves with last minute preparations and I’ve been going over and over my mental preparation exercises and visualizations. But after two weeks of glorious weather, today the weather turned and the winds have not subsided as expected. It now looks more like Tuesday before I get my turn.
The waiting game is hard but in the immortal words of Capt. Matthew Webb, ‘Nothing great is easy.’
(Pictured – My sister Jacqui with me today , waiting)