The Final Stretch: #Swim4Good

ImageAs I sit here at JFK awaiting to board my flight back to Barcelona, I’m thinking about how the only thing in front of me now is Gibraltar.  Less than a year ago when we decided to do this, I incorporated training into the daily juggle of life.  I’ve swam a total of 528 kilometers– that’s up from about 20 km the year before (Emily’s logged 656 km and Mauricio- 851 km).  And I’ve gotten through all the stuff on my to-do list including two moves and just now hauling my kids to camp in North Carolina. I just have to hop over the Atlantic and then face the cross-continental swim.

I’m scared, more scared of anything I’ve ever done.  The closest thing I can liken this to is having a baby.  Even the language is something familiar… I’m asked: “Estas a punto, no?” “Cuanto te queda?”  (“When are you due?”)  I remember being scared of childbirth, but this feels downright terrifying.  Even though having a baby hurts like hell, you’re bringing a tiny, harmless creature onto earth.  Swimming Gibraltar has so many threatening aspects– all out of our control.  The ocean is so BIG– and we are nothing.  I’m trying to calm my nerves, but it’s not easy.

While I’m scared of finishing the swim, Mauricio is scared that we won’t get to start it.  As I write this, there are three teams ahead of us who are stuck in Tarifa waiting for the strong Levante winds to lighten up– even too strong for windsurfers and kitesurfers.  The weather is so bad that the port has been closed for several days!  We are supposed to fly down there Thursday the 4th to be ready to swim anytime from the 6th to the 11th, but we’re pretty sure we won’t be able to go until the later part of the week, if at all.

What keeps me focused is thinking about all the support you’ve given Worldreader.  I just checked and we’re at a whopping $94,626.  Holy Mackerel!  I’m simply stunned with the generosity of friends all over the globe.  THANK YOU!

We’ll keep you updated on Facebook and Twitter using the #swim4good hashtag (Carrington and all other non-tweeters, all you have to do is go to Twitter, sign up and click on the Discover tab.. and then type #swim4good and you’ll see all of Emily, Mauricio, Mark and my tweets)

Fingers crossed we will get to start soon and Mother Nature will be kind!

Categories: Gibraltar, Swim4Good, Worldreader

4 replies

  1. “Ye’ll be grand”, as we say it Ireland. It’s only a quick nip across if you get the weather. You all have more than enough mileage done. You’ve enough done in fact to do it solo. Most important advice at this stage is, as always, don’t forget that you are meant to enjoy it.

    • Thanks Donal. I am indeed more worried and concerned about not starting. Hopefully the weather will clear up for our window (both Susan and Emily need to leave to the USA mid month), but the forecast does not lead to much optimism. We still don’t know when we will be heading to Tarifa under the current situation. Patience, I guess, and the weather will dictate what’s next. In terms of solo, the three of us will be swimming together the whole way. Not a relay. Not sure what the technical name for this variation is…group solo? Not sure. Take care Donal, and thanks for all your great advice throughout this year. We’re learning a lot from you.

      • Oh cool, all along I though you were relaying. Then an assisted solo it is for each of you, the fact you are in the water together doesn’t count. Anyway, I’l be keeping an eye and best of luck!

  2. Best of luck to all of you! As we also so here, “sure, ’tis no bother to you!” I think the term used for group solo swims in the Strait of Gibraltar is a ‘tandem’ swim. You’ve done all the right preparations, the weather will always do its own thing and we can only hope for the best. Go n-éirí tonnta libh!

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