Madhu's report of todays swim - this is why you train - to find the gaps in your game and learn how to fill them! Madhu is no different that way than an elite hockey goalie - you watch the game tapes, learn from your mistakes in practice, and when the spotlight is on - you know how to execute. You can learn a lot from understanding the process that high-level athletes like this train! (I know I am!)
In his own words then:
"Was not sure, if the swim would happen this morning. I was up at 5:30 am to check if Vivek was feeling better as he had mentioned he wanted to go swimming. The dude was wide awake (The flaring temperature had kept him up). I went back to check him again and the kid was snoring away (in a matter of 30 secs).
As per the plan I went to the park at 8:00 am to check the lake, The lake was calm with high and long rollers (this reminded my EC crossing), But the drive up and back home was treacherous. I also had a detailed weather report by Bryan in my email - All this was a strong reason for me to call off the swim. I did so in my email by giving an option to the team (here's the catch, we humans always like to blame somebody - I put the pressure on my team to make the decision). But, as mentioned before these guys are crazier than me (they very well know about COMMITMENT). I got 3 emails within a span of 10 mins. giving me options to support - I had no way out of this. I also sent an email to Loren about the roads - his response was "let me check the roads" I knew Mike was going out on his birthday brunch - but, he calls me to drop off the GOPRO.
Our initial jump time was 11:00 am. I arrive at the Coronation park. Brett is all geared (I have no chance to call off the swim now), Lambrina had her favourite chilean blanket for the post swim. Marty is in the parking lot with his gear. Brian had sent me an email about driving down from his cottage to be at the beach before 11:00 am. His van rolls in with two kayaks. Loren makes a rock star entry into the park (I have spent more time with Loren in 1C water) - I'm sure we have clocked in about 5 kms in 1C water temp).
Brett is in his hip waders and other dry clothes. Brian launches in his kayak and positions himself far out. The lake had added a tiny of rage to the long and high rollers (they are bloody powerful). For a change, I was waiting for Loren this time (there is a pecking order here - I cannot get in the lake before Loren - It's always comfortable to have him and follow him in the lake) I follow Loren with navigational guidance from Brett to avoid the rocks (my left is still hurting from yesterday's impact in the lake).
Walking into the lake, I'm thinking. How come I can never figure this out, I have no idea, how to swim in the 1C water. It's bloody cold. Brett comforts me by saying it's MIND OVER MATTER, Madhu - I immediately dive in. I'm doing an overall system check - my right earplug is acting up, I stop after about 10 strokes as I'm ingesting water in my right ear. I fix it and start swimming again (it's still bothering me). Anyways we swim to the rock pier on the west side of the park - This swim is like swimming in a smooth high wavy roller coaster (Brian is on my port side, it was like I go on the crest the wave I see Brian and then I end up the trough and I cannot spot Brian or loren or Lambrina who's walking with us on the beach. For the first time, I felt disoriented (this has never happened to me in the tiny bit of swimming that I have done. I manage to keep my focus on Brian on the Kayak, Loren in the water. It was hard swimming this morning - I was pushing hard evaluating my fingers - in pain, my palms - in pain, my head is OK, my feet - in pain. Hey, I'm still breathing hard so kept pushing it. Checked the watch at the rock pier 5:42. Time to turn back. Again I cut through the waves for about 4 mins (swimming hard). I stop and Brett asks me to swim towards Loren who's at the rock pier on the east side. I do that and I catch him in the next minute or so, I try to stand up and this is a funny feeling. I was heavy and was not stable, I manage to duck in swim towards Brett, who has already sensed this and grabs me as I get closer to him. I was lightheaded from all the Crest and trough in the wave. I had trouble getting my foot stable - They managed to get me out in the van. Marty had made sure everything was arranged properly for me and they get me back to normal soon. I was fine out of the water. I loved Lambrina's warm chilean blanket from IKEA (it's some special blanket for Lamb and Brett(you should check with them on the story behind that special blanket). Looks like it might come with us to Chile. Today was a neat learning experience - All our cold swims has been in above 5C and I'm glad I was able to experience this today. I'll try to get a couple of swims in cold rollers just to make sure I'm able to deal with it or at least when I'm chilean - I need to get in the ocean everyday to deal with this.
Today's highlight: The badass hard core team that made me swim. Lambrina's Warm chilean blanket and the best cup of warm tea that I've had. Thanks lambrina.
Thanks Marty, Lambrina, Brett and Brian for taking care of us like your own kids. This is an awesome experience.The camaraderie is just amazing. Well, I hang out with cool folk who don't even make a big of anything - Every day I notice that when we are done with our swim and LOCT we all go back to our regular normal regular lives.
Loren, you are a rockstar!! Thanks for the push pal :-)"
As always - it is a team effort! Thanks for stepping up Brett and Lambrina, Brian and as always Marty - I felt secure that there was support for Madhu there in my absence!