Anoop and Anette Chawla have been our friends since 2004. Anoop has played a significant role in helping us set our roots in the GTA region. Anoop, not sure if you are tired of hearing this - but, I'm not tired of saying this "Anoop helped me find my first job in Toronto in 2004 - I landed a job in less than a week after we arrived in Canada. This was after completing my English Channel swim, which was also our big move from California" Many of you will not be able to appreciate this; it is really tricky to move to a new country and find a job quickly. So Anoop - thanks for that initial push (help in setting up that launch pad for me). Anoop and Anette have always supported my ventures. Anoop and Anette, thanks for the big support and all the fun times.
Blair and Peter (http://blairandpeter.ca), my initial introduction to them was through the neighbourhood news circular which gives a real estate market overview of the Coronation Park community. Blair and Peter - thanks for participating in the silent auction and sponsoring this project. This is awesome!!
Dr. C. Shivaprakash is my uncle, lives in Maryland where he's a geologist. He and his wife Suman have been running a successful consulting business (http://www.stemint.com) for the past two decades and they are very well known in their field of expertise, they have always been very affectionate and kind to my parents and us. Thanks for sponsoring this venture and all the support.
Inksmith Printing is a printing shop run by my dear friend Marcia and her husband in Palo Alto. We go a long way from my days with Rinconada in Palo Alto. It is amazing that she reached out to support our venture. Thank you Marcia and Inksmith Printing (http://inksmithprinting.com)
Danny and Grace Jose are our neighbours in the community. Danny manages the team that builds the http://www.findmespot.com website. He worked his magic with his marketing team and got us the new SPOT equipment. Thanks Danny and SPOT LLC.
Thanks to Suunto (http://www.suunto.com) for giving me the VIP athlete privileges. I'll let a Garmin owner Loren vouch for Suunto. Suunto Ambit 2 captured my time and route in the Straits Magellan. It is a fantastic watch. Suunto - thanks for supporting me and my team.
Idextrus (http://www.idextrus.com) is a web application company and is associated with Mike Morton - thanks for the donation and support. It means a lot to my team and I.
I also want to thank everybody that supported us, if I built a web map of the geographical locations of all the friends that supported us, it would generate a cool map. Everybody is very important to me and we have a story or a fun memorable experience that has made our friendship very special. Thank you for supporting us (see the list of supporters here: http://www.itsnotaboutswimming.com/supporters). I would like to emphasize, the importance of this link. The image on the supporters link has Denise Short in the picture. She should've been here to experience this with us.
I also want to make a special note of the support and donations that came from my friends in Mysore, my parents' friends and my cousins in New Jersey and Portland, and my uncle from New Jersey. Thank you everybody.
Since the days of my high school geography classes, Ferdinand Magellan has been in my mind, but I never thought about swimming across the straits. In 2004, on reading Lynne Cox's "Swimming to Antarctica", I found out about the swim, and at that time Pedro from South End Rowing was training for his crossing. Still, never did my own attempt occur to me. Swimming across the English Channel was only a stopgap plan, as I was between jobs and I did not need any special visa/status to do masters swimming. That led to open water swimming and which led to getting across the English Channel, and I came across this neat community of long distance swimmers and friends for life from Rinconada in Palo Alto, South End Rowing Club, Dolphin Club and the channel swimming community.
The Strait of Magellan (Spanish: Estrecho de Magallanes), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south. The Strait is the most important natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans but it is considered a difficult route to navigate because of the unpredictable winds and currents and the narrowness of the passage. (Here is a description of the flow in the straits of Magellan by Lynne Cox: "The currents and tides could be as strong as ten knots, faster than a rain fed river after a torrential downpour").
My training objective was to get acclimatized to the cold water (Lake O gave that opportunity), and get strong (Giulio took care of that). I was easily holding a pace of about 1:40/100s on a 2 mile swim - so was OK with my speed. Complete an ICE MILE. There is a large community out there who have completed an Ice Mile - kudos to them. We have come close but not done it yet. (We swam 1200 mts in 1C. Fell short by ~410 mts).
To achieve the above, it is just impossible for me to do it alone. Loren and Mark managed to keep swimming with me and they, in fact, were critical for my Saturday swims. I loved swimming with them (I loved the post swim better). Every time, getting in the lake was a bloody pain. Here is where the core team comes into the picture. (DID I REALLY BUILD THIS TEAM? WE DID NOT PRE-SCREEN ANYBODY). They were kind enough to support me in my venture. They knew I needed help, support. They picked up their respective roles and stuck to it. Made sure we were safe in the water. They learned a lot about cold-water swimming, and our friendship grew stronger - this whole experience was magical. It is really important for me to acknowledge each one of them, so please bear with me as I do this.
STEVE ELLISON (AKA: Mom # 1): Not exactly sure how Steve got roped into this, thank God for him being there. Steve had joined us for a couple of times in 2013 while swimming with Brian and Eileen, Alan and while Mike would take pictures and be in the kayak, when the conditions were good. We couldn't swim much in 2013-14 as winter was a bit unfriendly. Steve took control of the post swim ritual, very critical. (Here is a note on Canadian winters: Air temp around -20 and water temp: 1C). The faster you get dressed, the faster you recover. As some of you know, I have trouble getting in the water and I also have trouble getting out of the water, I managed to fake my time in the water. Steve took care of me when I got out of the water. This was not a prearranged role, he just realized I was struggling post swim to get into my clothes. This was just amazing and I later on noticed that he had done quite a bit of research on hypothermia. Steve - thank you very much Pal. (Here is another disappointing fact about Steve: of the 1.2 billion Indians on this planet - I'm his first East Indian friend and yes, I have introduced him to Indian food and I still need to work on him). Buddy Steve - yes, I'll get bigger socks for the next phase of the training.
Here is Steve's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
"Madhu, after having my usual toast and peanut butter with a nice cup of hot coffee (my ritual breakfast at Bean There), and after zipping up my three layers of high-tech clothing with the Merino wool being the base layer next my skin, I was ready to hit the cold outdoors. It was Saturday, November 1, 2014 when I first went to Coronation Park to cheer you on and support your efforts.
After our "good morning" greetings, we all turned and stared quietly at the lake...that's when I got a text from Brett, "so, how's it going?". Being a news junkie, I don't read a lot of novels, but the conditions forced my brain to find an appropriate response back to Brett, "the lake is angry today".
Then, my phone rings. It's Marty. He is astonished to hear where I am, as I tell him about you and the guys...and that's when it started to snow.
Of course, when I first watched you guys start to walk into the water, my natural reaction was to cringe. I spoke with Mike on the shore while you were swimming, and he briefed me on what to expect when you guys came out. What a sight. I had never seen anyone with hyperthermia before.
As you guys struggled to dry off and put on warm clothing, I noticed you were having more trouble than Mark or Loren. That's when I jumped into action...my human nature wouldn't let me just stand there and watch you desperately trying to take off your bathing suit shivering your brains-out...and the rest is history.
Over the course of the last 40 years or so, I have had the pleasure to help a variety of people strive to achieve personal goals. As such, without you asking ( just me butting in ), I took upon myself to adopt you, and decided I'd support your shivering efforts every Saturday morning...even despite the fact you wouldn't get bigger socks !!!
Madhu, although I have only known you for the last couple of years, you deserve all the accolades that have been bestowed upon you. Not just for the special man who has committed himself to attain super-human accomplishments in his lifetime, but for the humble guy in a small Speedo helping a friend in his brand new Xterra wetsuit trying to get in and swim with LOST in 60 degree water...hey, some things a guy just doesn't forget.
All the Best...Continued Success.
MARTY ZEMANCIK (AKA Mom # 2): Some people never travel alone - Steve roped Marty into this. Marty and Steve are childhood friends and they meet on Saturdays for coffee at Brett's LOCT. Thanks to Steve for bringing Marty into the team. Marty's son is a marine on a short service commission. Marty, like Steve, just started jumping into action when we required help. Together, they brought in a lot of value on the beach - they just managed to take control of all the pre and post swim setup. As it got colder, getting undressed would be a challenge. On Dec/27/2014, when we attempted the ICE MILE Marty was instrumental on my post swim recovery. I was in a bad shape and he made sure, I got dressed quickly and I got back to normal in a short time. Marty, Thanks for all the help and loved hanging out with you at LOCT. I'm sure you'll be a lot of help on the beach at LOST swims this summer (or maybe you should try swimming!!!). Marty, we have two more years to get back to Straits of Magellan and I'll need your help all over again. Thanks Pal!!
Here is Marty's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
"In November 2014, I met a new group of people who are now friends. We met Saturday and Sunday mornings from November through January at Coronation Park to help Madhu - mornings before the sun came up and mornings when the waves were fairly high and temps extremely low. Equally important to me was getting together at Brett's afterward to discuss the day's swim and a variety of other topics.
One particular Saturday in December stands out. After finishing his longest swim in Lake Ontario, Madhu was in deep trouble and unable to get out of the water. We all jumped into action, got him out of the water and took the steps necessary to prevent serious consequences to his health.
This whole experience has meant a lot to me and I look forward to more mornings at Coronation Park and Brett's with all the members of the team. I'm confident that with all of us working together, Madhu will conquer the Strait of Magellan in 2017."
MIKE MORTON: FINALLY, Mike and Melanie have decided to move. I'm sure it has got to do with their neighbour's across the street (which has resulted in lack of weekend sleeps, early morning pre-coffee kayaking and sometimes stressful times on the beach). Mike and Melanie, congratulations on your new house. Mike has played a critical role on many different dimensions. Mike took care of all the administration, took care of all the blogs, compiled all the pictures and when he got a chance he would be on the kayak helping us out in the water. Mike also solely controlled all aspects of the travel, finance in Chile and so many things. He made sure that I could just focus on the swim and swim only (but, he doesn't know the fact that the swim was the last thing on my mind - he doesn't need to know that now). Mike - thanks for taking care of a lot of things on this venture, Thanks for traveling with me and your support was very critical to the overall success of this venture. I'm sure your kayaking days are just getting longer. Take care of that back and I'll publish your athletic goals so you can go after it. Yes, Mike did say it out loud that he will run a marathon (History Café, Punta Arenas Chile, Jan/29/2015). Good luck with your training Mike. Give a big hug to Melanie (Melanie does secretly love open water swimming).
ALAN "SPARKY" SWANKIE: As I'm writing this, Alan is in Little Rock Arkansas for his 45th marathon (http://www.marathonmaniacsdb.com/Maniacs/MyMarathons.asp?ManiacId=7309). Alan has been helping in managing all behind the scene finances and all the required paperwork. Alan played a critical role during our training swims in the lake. Alan brought an important gadget that kept us warm and helped us recover quickly (Celine, you might have seen the remnants of Coronation Beach sand in the massive magical and expensive gadget - thank you). Alan and Mike did all the planning for Chile trip. Alan gets the credit for another neat experience; for me to hang out at the famous Maple Leaf lounge at Pearson Airport. Alan also managed to get us in at the premier lounges in the Santiago airport (both the ways). Alan - thank you for the help from Hixon all the way to Santiago Diaz in Punta Arenas. Alan brought a great sense of humour to the team and in Chile. Alan is solely responsible for making sure Mike did not immigrate to Argentina with the Argentinian swimmers. So Melanie, you have a lot to thank Alan for, bringing Mike back home.
BRETT TITUS (AKA Brave Heart, LOCT President): The cool thing about Brett is, He runs a sub-3hr marathon (never talks about), Qualified to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii (after 3 crashes, 2 flat tires - he went back and got it done). We get to watch him in the world championships this year in October. Brett is a hard-core athlete and has always managed to ask me all the hard questions behind the training, very important when you are training for a crazy thing like this. Brett has a subtle way to transfer a lot of positive energy and doesn't make any big deal about it. And most important, Brett is the owner of BEAN THERE - all the coolest people in Oakville hang out here. There are several small groups of people visit that shop for coffee, tea, sandwich, toast, protein shake and it is neat to watch people engrossed in a non-serious conversation. This is an important place for me, as we get to enjoy our post swim coffee, talk and laugh about our swims, races and sometimes life. NOTE: Marilyn Bell wants to visit LOCT Bean There. Joe Cleary (550 marathons) made an important comment to me the other day "I'll see you at your Coffee Shop". Brett - thank you for all the support and kayaking - and Brett also invested in a heavy duty hip waders to take care of us.
Here is Brett's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
"Because I perform so poorly in cold water I just had to be there to see someone doing something so far from my realm of possibilities."
DAVID BREZER (AKA David Courage Bee): Another hard core athlete, Boston marathoner, Ironman, Death Race, And in the last 2 months he learned to ski and then completed a winter triathlon (ski, skate and run), and also completed another long distance cross skiing competition. David brought a lot of energy to the beach, very subtle but high impact messages and I enjoy every one of my conversations with him. He brought in Courage to our team - He sent me a wonderful email about the importance of courage in anything we do one day before my swim in the Straits. He brought a new dimension to it (the C in LOCT is only growing). I want to share this with you all. David - thank you for all the support, motivation and most of all your friendship.
COURAGE by DAVID BREZER (on Jan/27/2015):
"In my view, courage is the most important ingredient to success.
Courage to choose a goal.
Courage to craft a plan to achieve it.
Courage to rise above adversity as you execute the plan.
Courage to remain focused, calm, professional.
Courage to look beyond the "task" and seek a deeper meaning.
Courage to act as a role model for family, friends and strangers
- not just for the "task", but how one achieves it.
Courage to allow others to support you, and celebrate in your success.
Madhu, you are the most courageous man I know, and you have already succeeded in reaching your goal."
BRIAN GRAHAM: Another neighbour quitting on us. Brian is a crazy long distance cyclist. What this means is he has 0% body fat. Brian was critical in helping me test the ice-cold waters of Lake Ontario. Not sure, how he does it - walks into the lake with no fear. I followed him in 2013 until it got too cold and there was a mountain of ice on Coronation Beach. Brian came back in 2014 as a kayak support brings a neat form of subtle energy that helped us push the barriers. Brian - thank you for your support, help and kayak push. I'm sure there is more mileage written in the future for your kayaks in the ice-cold lake, is it true that Sarah wants to help us?
Here is Brian's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
"For me it all started with wanting to learn how to swim. Open water seemed much more appealing than swimming in a public pool. I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to start this in October 2013---the water was already in declining temperatures! I did realize that it was 'easier' for me to get into the water than Madhu---and thus I was able to be helpful in assisting Madhu with this great quest and challenge-The Straits of Magellan.
I love to surround myself with positive people. People that are like minded and people that easily pull together to help others. We have a very gifted group of folks here. I am also inspired by Madhu for his gentle ways, his determination, and his powerful strength both physical and mental. His humble demeanour would always deflect his own great accomplishments."
FRANCE JOLICOEUR: Everybody knows France!! A superfast runner and mother of 5 beautiful girls, from the Connors Running group. I believe France started swimming with LOST in summer of 2014. It was the magical world of emails, Facebook or some other form that was how France joined us for a swim in October and since then became an avid supporter. She had more energy on the beach after her 20 km runs than me trying to get in the water. It was nice of France to support me on a couple of important swims as I was trying to ramp up my swim time in the cold water and everybody else was away. France (with her girls) showed up to support me on my swim. That was awesome France. France has qualified for Boston along with her husband Pascale. Good luck to you both. Thanks for helping us push the barrier France. I'm sure there is more swimming and adventure written here for all us.
Here is France's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
I wasn't part of the team when I first got the invite to go for a swim in October.
I went in the water with a wetsuit on Thanksgiving weekend and felt great after.
Of course Madhu went in without with Mark and Loren. I started understanding what your journey was about. It's not about swimming!
Being around your friends gave me more then I feel I participated.
The positive energy, the courage, determination and camaraderie between everyone is incredible.
As I got to know you I understand why so many volunteer to help you.
I personally got a lot out of this experience and I am looking forward to many more swims together or helping out on the shore.
It has helped me in my own training and life.
You are a very unique ray of sunshine Madhu and you make others shine too.
Thank you Madhu for taking us on these adventures with you."
MARK BINTLEY (a real swimmer, an OK runner and a poor Beer drinker): you'll love this man. Mark and his family immigrated to Canada in May of last year and the first thing he does is to find open water swimming group. I noticed Mark on his very first swim with us, he was always in the back of the crowd and I went up to him and we immediately connected (I'm sure both of us are regretting it now - as we both have pushed each other's swimming limits). FYI: after we moved to Canada, it took me 7 years to get back into swimming. Mark does it in less than 6 weeks. I think Jayne gets all the credit for this. Mark and Loren brought fantastic in-water support; in fact these two guys were stronger than me in the cold water. The initial plan was for the 3 of us to go to Chile. I think the plan will come true in 2017. Mark and Loren gave me a lesson in commitment (the C is only growing in LOCT). Thanks for being there for me in the water. Everybody loved you magical tent. Mark and Jayne, love you guys. I'm sure there are a lot of fun times written in our books.
Here is Mark's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
Being part of your team has been an honour and has made me feel proud to be part of something special. I feel lucky to have met and built a bond with such a special group of people, who are so motivated to do crazy things... (Although sometimes when I was getting in that freezing water, I wish I'd never met any of you!!!!) I feel proud of what we have all achieved together and can't wait to get in the water with you all again. Bring on 2017!
let's meet for coffee soon !"
LOREN KING (Smartest Open Water swimmer, I've ever met): I got a Facebook invite from Loren and from his security settings I couldn't find anything about him other than the picture of a frozen forest. Then I noticed him jumping in naked (open water swimming term: in speedos) in low 50s and I remember he also helped a young girl who was training for a 10K open water race. Since then our friendship just gone crazier - I mean, we have managed to disclose some of the crazy things we have done in our lives. Loren and Kim are avid rock climbers (Loren has survived some crazy accidents). He always brings in an interesting dimension to the swim. When I was struggling to push my cold swims Loren sent me a neat email on COMMITMENT and it made a significant impact on me(C is only growing in LOCT), and I was able to push the swim from 5 mins to 15 mins. (This is a mind over matter game). I think about that all the time. I think Me, Loren and Mark make a fantastic swimming partners (I'm sure we'll regret it as we are all crazy). Loren - thanks for all the support, all the shakes, shivers, coffees and most of all your friendship. Thank you.
Here is Loren's email on Commitment. A Modest Proposal:
"So, in climbing, there are various rating systems that try to capture both the difficulty of the route, and also it's objective risk with respect to protection.
Thus, for instance, a moderate route might have a rating in North America (the British and French systems differ somewhat) of 5.7R, where the 7 (the decimal isn't mathematically meaningful) indicates the technical difficulty (usually of the crux, or most difficult move), and the "R" stands for "runout", meaning that there are long stretches on the climb where protection is difficult or marginal at best. An "X" rating would basically mean "don't fall ..."
That Dan Osman video I posted last week? That's by default a 5.7X, since he's free-soloing sans rope, and thus is placing no protection whatsoever!
In alpine and mixed climbing, there is a further, usually less formal designation, which attempts to convey the degree of commitment required for the route.
This is the rough sense that, even on an easy, well-protected route, you may simply find yourself in situations where there is realistically only one way to proceed, with retreat or rerouting being difficult, often more dangerous than simply continuing the line, or outright impossible. (Routes far in the backcountry typically involve commitment in the related sense of demanding considerable preparation, planning, and a long, sometimes complicated and dangerous approach, before anyone even gets to do any technical climbing.)
Commitment is a funny thing, because even when you're on an easy line that you've climbed many, many times before, you notice even slight differences in degrees of commitment. It's often a subtle thing, but it's there: there's a different kind of focus and resolve that you adopt, or you simply don't do the route, even if it's technically very easy and intimately familiar.
This is basically your beach. You logged countless laps of this segment of shoreline, training for your Lake O crossing. It is, by any measure, an intimately familiar piece of water for you.
Tomorrow I propose (conditions permitting, as always): that we walk in up to chest depth, make a southerly line for the first rock breakwall, and then we don't stop until we get there.
Then, we turn around and swim our haggard butts back to the other, northern breakwall, and see how we feel.
Maybe we get out after this, maybe we swim a bit more.
This shouldn't take more than ten minutes, maybe twelve at the outside. It should bag us between 400m and 500m of solid swimming in 2C water.
It will, however, involve a very modest, but still significant degree of commitment.
We can try to stick together in formation, or split up a bit, but that's less important than committing to the line. The shore team can walk along the beach with us if we want, but I'd almost prefer they didn't, at least for this particular exercise (because: commitment)."
LYNN RODGERS: One of my favourite open water swimmers. Very fast and loves cold water!!! I started with BMSC in 2006 for a short stint. Although, I had met Lynn back then we only connected during the LOST swims, and she became a great training partner and also my crew for our swim across Lake Ontario (That was a magical experience - It was fantastic team that took care of me in the water - loved it). Lynn swam with me in the lake and she in fact ditched her wetsuit, just because she can!! Lynn - thanks for all the support. Lynn has been on several training swims and has always sent me messages that made me push the barrier. Thanks for all the lovely swimming Lynn - you still owe me a coffee.
Here is Lynn's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
"According to my son Cameron, the chilly waters at Coronation Park are called, "Madhu's Lake." Ok, well sometimes he calls it Marmaduke's Lake... but we all know what he means! And that is the important thing.
For months, Madhu has been swimming in this portion of Lake O that has never really warmed up since the Polar Vortex of 2014. I was in awe of him swimming there in September, and just astounded to see him swimming in the lake in December and January. But that is Madhu. He sets a goal and is determined to complete it... even if it means recruiting haphazard bystanders along the way. I am seemingly one of those bystanders. Cheering him on and wishing I could take part in such an amazing adventure.
We came to "Madhu's Lake" to see some of those swims in person - but mostly read the reports and saw the pictures online of each training session in preparation for the crossing. I was of course happier to be there on the beach to support him and cheer for him, tell him about how great his kick is and how his arm tempo is super-consistent even though the water is ridiculously cold. And Madhu just kept pushing, ready again for the next training session. Pulling us all in together to root for him on this new mission, Magellan Straits Crossing 2015.
In the end, although the swim didn't go as planned, most everything else did. He inspired and cheered many of us with his courage and optimism. He brought people together, who might possibly have preferred to hibernate this winter. And we all did take part in this adventure, together. Thanks, Madhu."
BRYAN FINLAY (The Yoda of the open water swimming world): I'm very fortunate to be associated with Bryan. Today (Feb/28/2015) is his birthday. After we moved to Toronto in 2004, I got in touch with Bryan Finlay through Solo swims. We exchanged a few emails, spoke on the phone and then met him when Lynne Cox visited us. Loved him right away. It was neat that Bryan chose to be my swim master for our swim across the lake. Bryan is a scientist by trade and very professional. Together we analysed a lot of variables. My entire team loved him, respected his knowledge, and there is so many other cool things to say about Bryan. Bryan being my swim master on my Lake Ontario swim was very neat. The connection that we have established there is very neat. Bryan - thanks for all the support. Bryan took an interesting position during our training. He was online from home in London. Bryan was very keen on looking at all our training blogs, journals, emails and always analysed every little detail, data and gave valuable feedback. It was like he was on the beach with us. Bryan - thank you.
Here is Bryan's version of our training for the 2015 Straits of Magellan:
"I don't like use of the term "Extreme Sport" to describe marathon or cold-water swimming, since I believe it implies a lack of control (or no control) over what may suddenly happen. For example, I prefer it to be used for truly dangerous (reckless) sports like Heli-skiing in areas where there may be avalanches; however, there is no doubt that such a Cold Water challenge is a journey to Death if it goes far enough! "Far Enough" is determined by so many factors that we understand poorly, that vary between individuals and, in most cases, do not involve adequate ongoing measurements of critical parameters such as Core Temperature or ECG - so maybe our approach does deserve the word "extreme". We need to be challenged as to why our actions are "not reckless" in failing to test or control potentially fatal outcomes.
- You can only survive the experience "With a Team"
- You can only be successful "With a Team".
- And... you attracted "A Grand Team" that was concerned for both your success and ensuring your wellbeing - as much as they could.
I was so impressed by the regular (Weekly and sometimes daily) Blogs on your progress and support by so many (Both in and out of the water) with their tremendous care to details.
However, it's a long way from Hixon Street to Punta Delgado (Google Earth says 10, 670 km !) and, for a variety of reasons, the GPS (SPOT) and communications satellites don't seem to work so readily in those remote areas. Similarly, verbal communications can be complicated by both language and culture with which we may not be fully conversant.
While us arm-chair quarterbacks in Ontario have little idea of what transpired in the real event, it is those sudden changes in communications (From comprehensive regular Blogs about the swimmer to limited tourist tidbits - and far less during the swim) that can be particularly frustrating for Team Members who have been so close to your training and wellbeing on the shoreline of Coronation Park.
There is definitely no doubt that you did your part "to the ultimate" as the swimmer . . . and so much more as the planner.
It's tempting to think of the planning for Annaleise Carr, Ashleigh Beacham or Trinity Arsenault with all of the arrangements being on the shoulders of parents . . ."
WENDY TURNER AND SUSAN MANN (True Loctians): Wendy and Susan have the true spirit of LOCT. Brett's Coffee shop has several groups of regulars who are there to enjoy coffee after their run, yoga or walking. The neat thing is these groups extend support to the other groups. Wendy and Susan stayed in the loop with us with words of encouragement, help etc. Susan noticed our shakes and shivers at Brett's and decided to give her RED PARKA that she was getting rid of. It has become quite popular and I have got quite a few stares in Oakville downtown. Thank you Susan. In fact the parka has kept me warm and has helped recover fast - its fundamental job. Both Susan and Wendy have extended the support from their community to our crazy community, these adventures have no boundaries or barriers - just amazing to be associated with them. I also remember, Wendy had taken some pictures of my finish of Lake Ontario swim and made sure all those pictures were printed and had dropped off in our mailbox (this was in 2012). Another neat story is, Wendy and Susan gave me a hip flask and bottle of whiskey for our trip to Punta Arenas. Thank you Susan and Wendy. The parka and the hip flask will be well used for the next phase of our training.
Here is a note from Wendy on her experience with 2015 Straits of Magellan training:
"Oh Madhu. My part was soooooooo minimal, actually I had nothing to do with any of this.
However I will say that emotionally I felt like I was with you on your journey. I was checking my computer constantly for updates.
Madhu, your ability to pull together a group of individuals and create the camaraderie that came from this journey is remarkable. Together as a team you went places, both physically and emotionally that you all probably never imagined. Watching you group together and jump in that freezing lake was awe inspiring even if I thought you were crazy! Your inclusiveness and kindness is something everyone should note and learn from. This was YOUR challenge, yet you created a community. Thank you for all you do for each of us."