Easter Monday, a very fun and gezellig day! 🙂 I spent it with my father’s side of the family. We were with 18 people, the little ones went to look for easter eggs and hares and afterwards we had a big easter brunch. I definitely needed to swim the day after haha.
I hadn’t gotten my schedule yet so I decided to swim 8,5km, just to be safe. And guess who swam in my lane Tuesday: Beau van Erven Dorens, a well known Dutch TV show host. He does all kinds of challenging things for his shows, one of them is training to cross the English Channel. I watched it and my dad and I had the idea to approach him to ask about his experiences (he didn’t swim across the Channel because of bad weather though).
So of course I struck up a conversation. I told him I was training to swim across the Channel and he gave me a high five. He told me he was just trying out SwimGym to see if he liked it. I know I do! 🙂 After a few minutes we both resumed our own swimming schedules.
Then I got my schedule: 30km overall. Wednesday morning a pyramid: 100m/200m/300m/400m/500m/1000m/1500m/1000m/500m/400m/300m/200m/100m, the shorter the distance the shorter the rest and the faster I had to swim. Seems kind of unfair. 😉 I was so incredibly exhausted, though. I don’t know what from but it’s a miracle I was able to finish.
Thursday morning: 4x(4x400m) every set of 400m a different speed and after every set 100m recovery. Again, extremely tired this day and I don’t know how I finished the training. I just put myself on zombie mode and swim. On these kinds of days I am pretty slow and I’d rather not keep track of the times I swim then.
I took Friday and Saturday off. Friday evening I went to get massages with Jaimie and Tamara, my friends from the village whom I see quite regularly. It was great to just relax and let the stress be kneaded out. Afterwards we went out to dinner and to get some drinks. A great evening to let it all go and enjoy myself. 🙂
Saturday evening I had to work till 02:30am which made the training on Sunday a little hard, especially because I woke up early and couldn’t fall asleep again. Again, extremely tired and slow but I did finish: 10x500m plus 6x(4x50m) every 45 sec. (which is basically sprinting). It went okay.
But in the evening I got my schedule for the whole of April: coming week 38km, then 32km and then 40km. I got so stressed about this. I was crying and I felt hopeless. It’s not that I can’t do these distances in a week but it’s that I have to fill in a lot on my own in short time.
It also brought up stress about other things I had been suppressing. I don’t eat healthy/the right things, I’m worried about financials (I’m trying to finds ways to raise more money to support me but I don’t have the energy for it and I don’t know really know how), I’m afraid that I can’t withstand the cold and that my fear for open water has grown again.
Seeing this program kind of gave me a relapse. I was pretty motivated and getting quite confident that I could actually do this. Now that has all crashed down and I’m incredibly insecure again. I felt panicky and to let that out I just started to cry. I feel like I have to do too many things by myself and it’s overwhelming.
All I need is some love and support and being on the phone with someone I love helped. Then I went to dad and explained how I felt and that I needed help with some things. Of course he would help me, all I needed to do was ask and keep asking. I find that really difficult though but I suppose it’s something I have to learn.
This process of training for something so big makes you learn a lot. It gives you a lot of insights, it forces you to do things you’ve never done before and it pushes you further than you thought possible. It makes you strong and it shapes you as a person.
And I know for a fact that even though I am struggling and I want to stop and give up, I know it will be worth every little moment of pain, sadness, hopelessness. I know that I will look back on this and think of this as one of the greatest years of my life. Not because it was happy and smooth, but because it was hard and taught me many, many things.
I realise I am capable of so much more than I thought. I have so much perseverance and willpower than I thought. And even though I feel weak and exhausted now, I know that I will look back on this and be so damn proud that I trained for and swam across that damn fucking English Channel.
I just have to persevere and push through for a couple more months.
I am a nineteen-year-old girl from Baambrugge, a tiny village near Amsterdam, with big ambitions. I like to set big goals for myself, I like to explore my own boundaries and see if I can expand them.