By now I was quite certain that I wanted to know more about the English Channel because the desire the swim it was becoming bigger. But where do you even begin? I haven’t regularly swum for about two years now, I’m not in contact with my old trainers from het Meerbad in Abcoude anymore, I don’t know anyone that has swum across the English Channel or done anything rather similar.
Google it is then! Where would be without Google? Not swimming across the English Channel, that’s for sure…
One of the first things that came up was Marcel van der Togt’s website. After quick look it was clear that he had much experience guiding people across the Channel and that he was the person who could tell me anything I needed to know to.
I emailed him, with a little encouragement from my dad, and luckily he replied quickly with the question if I were able to meet up at the swimming pool in Rijswijk that Wednesday.
I had gotten my driver’s license not two weeks before but it seemed like a good idea to let me make the 45 minute, ‘very anxiously for what was coming’, ‘stuck in slow-driving traffic on the freeway’ drive. Right, great decision dad! You could’ve driven too…
In the swimming pool I didn’t have my glasses with me so I was really awkwardly squinting and looking around for someone that looked like the person on a photo I had looked up until I saw someone wave at me.
I jumped into the water and he told me to just swim a couple of laps the way I usually would but of course that was a little stressing because I hadn’t swum for quite a while and I thought my technique and endurance would be garbage.
Surprisingly he said my technique was really good and that he instantly knew I would be able to make it. We decided to continue the talk in the lobby with my dad present as well.
We discussed quite a lot of things and he answered many of my questions. The more we talked the more enthusiastic and determined I became to actually do this and he said: “The motivation is definitely there!’
We made a plan for the coming months, and that is basically how Marcel became my coach and how I was sure I wanted to complete cross The English Channel.
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.