Stormy August – Stressful September
So, here I am again with barely two minutes to myself but I thought you may wish to hear the latest developments, frustrations, hold-ups and excitement. This 8 week period has seen sun, hurricanes, sharks, prototype wetsuits, increase in PR interviews and school engagements, personal life crisis and training of course, continuing as usual.
Training has continued to increase in both the USA (July-August) and now (September) with my returning permanently to the UK in preparation for build up to us leaving in December – believe me when I say my shoulders and immune system are taking a hammering. All of these pressures have ultimately led to huge increases in mental distraction and frustrations. In turn, this impedes training in that mentally it is hard to focus on turning over my arms, rotating my hips, mile after mile, hour after hour, when I’m busy thinking about who to talk to; meetings to come; interviews with national press and TV; sponsors; the boat and then of course usual and very important considerations such as missing my daughter, eating a huge volume of food 8,000+ calories and life in general.
During training in the USA, heat in both air and sea increased as did the distances, but interruptions by gradually increasing, ferocious storms began to break up my US training schedule – obviously as much as I wanted to swim in the storms; I was not allowed and it was not safe!! We must always be safe in Open Water swimming. That said, the seas becoming rough was not an issue, but the lack of visibility around shark detection and the lightening become daily and nightly, closed pool time and sea time down to negligible amounts. This culminated in five days of gym restricted work out on rower and bike as Tropical Storm Erika lashed Key West shores and her offspring too battered us and Florida just a little more. This led to me working hard on mental ability and motivational thinking during this month more than ever, especially with personal life issues bearing down on me mentally; it would have been so easy to surrender and give up, but I haven’t – I owe to myself and my daughter, the school children and our supporters, and of course sponsors, to keep going and achieve the impossible!
Lastly, but very importantly, Arena sent over the prototype wetsuit available for my swim! Thank you also to All Saints Academy Nick and Jake for filming this trial for myself and Arena. Excitedly, I tried on this incredibly designed suit. It was a comfortable, snug, perfect fit, made with incredibly amazing materials/technological advancement and a cool patterned suit. This is all I can say for now, as it’s commercially sensitive, but photos when available will be out and looking awesome.
With just 62 days to go until the earliest possible launch and so much to do, as well as train at, I can only ask that you all stay with me; if we pull together now, we can do this for my charities, inspiration and to show anything is possible if you are determined enough to succeed. I know I am and we will.
Training Tip of the month: If you think you’ve swum your target distance; swim another 200m post-cool down and push yourself – Rio awaits you.
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