For those of you that are maybe unfamiliar with sports terms - particularly running ones (like me - please forgive me runners if I mess up this description...), tapering is the process of reducing your training to a bare minimum in the week or weeks prior to a big event to ensure that you are fully rested and as uninjured as you can be. Some athletes swear by it - some ignore it, and most of them dread it - going from a high level of intense training to a period of relative inactivity can leave you feeling like you are missing a best friend in your life.
What does this have to do with Chile? Well, like it or not, Madhu is now entering his period of tapering. The plan was this weekend to get SOME time in the water - but the Lake denied us - emphatically (see the picture to the right).
This ice it's self would not prevent Madhu from getting time in the water - but the increased chance of injury from the entry and exit from the lake is not worth the risk - not with the trip so close!
So what do you do? Throw up your hands and go home? Hang your head dejectedly, sigh heavily and trudge back to the car? Nope - not when you have great friends and supporters down to help you out! Instead you make slushies out of ice (see what I did there Steve!), and have a great time chatting with friends. You stand around long enough chatting and laughing the the sun comes to approve of your choice to stick around. You are treated to swans mooning you from the water, and you cap it all off by going for coffee at Brett's to reminisce about the old days of milk bottle delivery to your door, great places to eat in Montreal, sip hot chocolate (I am totally following Mark and Eileen's new IronMan diet...), and see more friends!
That is what this is all about in a nutshell. It is not just about getting in cold water. It is not just about traveling 12,000 kilometers round trip, 24 hours each way. It is not just about swimming a few miles across a fast moving body of water.
It is about the training. It is about the team. It is about friends - old and new. It is about creating a feeling of community, sharing a passion and inspiring others. It is NOT about swimming - that is simply the vehicle to bring people together.
January 24 Madhu, Mike and Alan will set off to Punta Arenas, Chile, and sometime between January 25 and February 2, Madhu will become the 22nd person to successfully cross the Strait of Magellan. There will be pictures, there will be video, there will be wine and beer and food and friendship. We go with no expectations, no preconceived notions and open to a fantastic experience, and we will share it all with all of our friends here, on this website. So stop by the website often over the next few weeks, and don't forget to comment and wish us "buena suerte" - we will be thinking about all of you while we are there!
As always - the full gallery of pics from today can be seen on our Flickr photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/107504863@N04/