In the past year I was supposed to have joined a club to improve my endurance again (because I hadn’t swum in a long time). When that is up to speed we can begin the actual Channel Swim Program.
But I hadn’t joined a club. It’s not that I didn’t try to but everywhere I went didn’t exactly feel right. I let weeks pass, I let months pass, and eventually I had kind of given up. I had put the idea of swimming across the Channel in the back of my mind. It seemed that other things were more important then.
I was in the last year of my secondary school and it was one of the toughest years. Not because it was hard to get good grades but emotionally. I felt incredibly worthless and lonely and felt that I couldn’t do anything right, no matter how hard I tried. I was confused because of all the contradictory thoughts and feelings I was having which would be replaced by feelings and thoughts of emptiness.
I am not good with change. It unbalances me but at the same time I desperately crave it. Leaving my school, starting this Channel Swim trajectory, ending a part of your life that you can never go back to, saying goodbye to your old friends and old self made me a little bit crazy. The need to grow and the fear of that made me lose someone dear to me as well.
So now here we are in August. I have tried to make progress on my own but failed miserably. With all those psychological issues along with my iron deficit and loneliness I could not find the energy and strength to do it myself. Distraught, I knew I could only do one thing and I sent Marcel an email and we decided to meet up for a little test and talk.
The two days before meeting up I had gone to the swimming pool to at least repair a little bit of damage. Honestly, last night I also went to a work party which I felt like I had to go to. I also felt an outsider at work and not going would increase that but at least I left early.
So then here we are: at the outside swimming pool of Het Mirandabad. I was nervous to face him again because I knew I hadn’t done anything the past year. He told me to swim for half an hour and then measure the distance.
My watch stopped after two laps. I thought to myself ‘I’ll just do 30 laps (1500m) and then see if it’s time yet.’ After 15 laps I wanted to stop already. I felt that my breakfast kept rising. But I definitely couldn’t stop now. I had to push through. I didn’t think I’d reach 30 laps though…
So I pushed through to 20 laps. Extremely exhausted and nauseous I thought I’d at least do two more laps. And then something changed. I didn’t feel so nauseous or exhausted anymore. I had gone past that and I could go on more easily now.
I was extremely glad to have finished those 30 laps because I hadn’t swum for so long on end before and I was proud I had pushed through even though I felt like I couldn’t. We then met up in the café to talk about the coming year. I had brought my dad with me.
Marcel really urged me on to join a club so I could train with others and improve my endurance because training alone wouldn’t get me there. We set dates for upcoming events (24x1mile, training week in Lanzarote, 100x100meters) and goals (working towards swimming 3,5km/hour and eventually 4km/hour; working towards swimming 25km a week).
Now I really know what to do and what to work towards. I now have direction, better guidance and a new boost of motivation. With this to-do and goal list I can move really move forwards! 🙂
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.