Well it is finally here, Friday morning, Day 7 , that’s right 7 consecutive days of double swims in Ireland, this morning is my 13th swim in the last 7 days and we find ourselves once more at Sandycove Island. The first day I set eyes on Sandycove Island it looked unwelcoming, the first morning I swam around it the same….unwelcoming, or perhaps it was me not respecting or being receptive to the Island and it’s unpredictable and cool waters. Today when the Island comes into view I look at it with respect and with excitement, I want to swim and rise up to the challenges this Island throws my way, yes I am beginning to look at this Island in a new light, my new master, tough yet fair, strict, yet achievable, I like Sandycove Island.
THE WATER TEMPERATURE TODAY=WAKE UP IT’S COLD
Like it or not the island is tossing 11 degree Celsius water my way today, I don’t fret or flince, instead just size up the stakes, I will have to swim fast and will swim strong for as long as my body will allow me to function, and I do. 2 laps, a good pace and a strong finish with a sprint back to the slipway. Off home to shower, you guessed it YOGA, EAT and REST.
Next up is our Friday evening swim, I am not quite sure what to make of this one, our schedule reads….
Garrettstown 6:30pm swim and PLAY in the surf and drink in Kinsale afterwards.
PLAY…..I read the words again, ” how odd, what does he mean PLAY” I think quietly, and with that decide to go prepared for anything BUT I will put on a playful suit, it is bright colors and shimmery like a fish, a refreshing change from the morbid black suits I have been sporting all week. So off we go, Robbin and I, we drive 20 minutes to Garrettstown through beautiful rolling hills, passing through a little village and finally following a winding road alongside the beach that drops us into Garrettstown, my jaw drops slightly….it is a delightful long sandy beach, no threatening cliff faces or crashing white foamy waves, this is a paddle at the seaside type beach…how lovely.
We stand on the roadside chatting with some of the other swimmers awaiting instructions on the night’s swim, while we are waiting we get talking about Feed, I have brought some Lemon Lime Maxim to give Billy’s Mum Neave, they are interested in trying some out, ” I have 2 big tubs with me” I told Neave this morning, ” I’ll bring you some of mine”, I do, while we are chatting Kevin tells me that he uses electrolyte free Maxim, he explains that it is better without the electrolytes due to the salt water you take in over long periods of ocean swimming, thanks to Kevin I file away the suggestion and make a mental note to search the stuff out whenI get back home.
After a bit Ned says…” OK we play in the surf for a bit then off to Jowita’s home for dinner”, I am still processing “play” for a bit, hmmm that means not jump in and pound out strokes until my body will no longer obey my mind…. ” interesting concept”! So into the water we go and wouldn’t you know it the water feels WARM, and I feel RELAXED, off we go into the water, my mind is singing the song from last night…..
don’t you know you better swim, swim, swim, swim , swim swim
I take some long strokes and the water feels great, Alan, Finbar, Ned, Billy, Kevin are coming out past the breaker waves with me, we start meandering along swimming parallel to the shore, we are heading towards a big bunch or rocks, we stop here and there to chat, float, duck and dive and guess what? This is the most exciting bit for me, I CAN TALK….we pull all up treading water in a circle and I can TALK, yip I can chat with the boys and I am thrilled with myself, all week I have watched the other swimmers happily tread and chatting in the water and I, the POPSICLE STICK have had my jaw frozen shut only letting out mumbles and slurred words, now I get to hang with the big kids and converse WHAT FUN!
We swim along to the big rock pile at the end of the beach and swim back, a surf ride in on miniture waves, into change at the car and off to Jowita’s for the yummiest Pumpkin soup ever, we are home by 9pm, my earliest night back since we arrived in Ireland.
7 Days Complete: 70 kilometers, a little shy of 45 miles
GET READY FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE
What could be next?
Saturday 10am TORTURE SWIM, how far, how fast, how long, to where….no one knows!
Closing Thought: To achieve all that is possible we must attempt the impossible