Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Meet Holly - Her Journey of the BIG SWIM! You Go Girl!

Meet Holly - Her Journey of the BIG SWIM

You Go Girl! So proud of your strength and determination to take on 
 the BIG SWIM! #bigswim2015 

Holly is my niece from Nova Scotia. In 39 sleeps she will be taking on the task (along with 59 other swimmers) to cross the Strait between New Brunswick & PEI (14 km) in support of Brigadoon Village Brigadoon Children's Camp Society is a non-profit, year-round recreational camp facility dedicated to children and youth living with a chronic illness. Brigadoon’s Summer is underway with it’s fabulous line-up of summer camp programs. Be sure to share the website with any campers who can benefit from this life changing event.

So here's a little from Holly on her training for the BIG SWIM...and where you can donate...follow her on FB or check out the website

I’m neck deep into the training (literally in the water!), hanging out in lakes for the past few weeks and adjusting to life in a neoprene wetsuit. Not a sentence I ever imagined putting together. I’m into the lakes 5-6 times/week; most swims are 3-4km and we’re slowly adding a km or two. Next week we are aiming to begin ocean swims at least once a week and spend the rest of the time in the lake. These days it’s harder to fit in the training. I was used to early morning pool swims solo and now I’m having to carve out 2-3 hours to be in the lake each session (5-6 times/week) with coordinating 2-3 other schedules, family lives, work and more.  Some days it is a lot. Some days it would be easier to skip it. A little swim is better than no swim! I can’t even begin to piece together what this is going to be like. For those that are curious, I don’t have a time goal in mind. My current and only goal is to finish the event.   The longer swims in the lake are giving me time to pay attention to things differently, to learn how to slow down, pace myself and to think. There have been a lot of ah ha moments lately where so many encounters, practices, experiences from the past few years are colliding together.  Here are a few of my lessons from the past few weeks of training; I think a lot of these will be forever life lessons.

1.      There really isn’t much to see when swimming in open water and I’ve been told I will see even less crossing the strait.   I am aiming to check out the Confederation Bridge ever chance I get close enough to!
2.      Thankfully I’ve not seen any lake creatures other than some minnow like fish.  The most exciting animal we’ve encountered was a friendly dog who came along with us tonight at the lake.
3.      The mental conditioning is more then physical conditioning.
4.      I swim very very crooked. Very crooked. Sue (my kayaker) might need a leash to keep me from drifting to Newfoundland.  My crookedness is likely not a surprise to any of you who have watched me walk, coordination is not my forte!
5.       A wetsuit is a whole other adjustment. My first encounter with a borrowed suit set me off in a not so great direction.  The day my own wetsuit arrived felt magical. We’re still bonding, each day getting more used to each other.  (it’s also ok to cry when you get that first nick in the wetsuit)
6.      My hair hasn’t been dry since March. It seems to be in a perpetual state of dampness, especially on the days when there is 12 hours between the swims.
7.      It is possible to jump pretty high in a lake wearing a wetsuit when you encounter sea grass or a random tree branch.
8.      I don’t think I’ve done any activity actively and consecutively for 8 hours in my life. This milestone is going to be huge!
9.      A good km of a swim can temporarily make you think you are Wonder Woman and ready to conquer the world.
10.  I’ve been fortunate to work with a swim coach, to have others who have done the Big Swim train with us and offer feedback and regardless of who is offering the feedback, the messages are the same;  keep your head down, be in the moment, pay attention and slowing down get you further than fast and furious.
If you have not had the chance to donate yet and would like to you can click here. Every dollar raised is helping send kids to camp. Extraordinary kids being given the chance to be ordinary, thanks to your dollars! The training continues with my friends Nancy and Josette, aka Mermaid Mamas. We have some upcoming events happening over July that can be found on our FB page and our website.   We’re still collecting prizes for the online auction which will be launched in July.   Our website and FB page together have some images from our training, fundraising, tour of Brigadoon and just good ol’ fun in our wetsuits.  We’re sharing videos and images from past big swims too.
 In August we’ll be receiving our GPS locator info that will be attached to our swimcaps during the swim. If you want to , you will be able to follow our progress on the Big Swim day. We’ll share the info on our FB page and our website. I welcome any recommendations of long lakes to tackle or spots along the ocean shore.  Thank you for the ongoing support, the curious questions and the encouragement in person, via email , on Facebook and more.  It is all coming together swim by swim.  Holly

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