A certain uncertainty – slight change of plans

Sorry for not updating my blog for so long. I am amazed at how many people are still looking at my old blog and wondering who they are!

So I skipped the 12 hour indoors swim in Zurich for several reasons (too little training, a slightly inflamed elbow, lots of work and little time), and even the 6 hour race in Nürnberg, and changed my plans a bit. I have been concentrating more on my work over the last few months, wanting to finance my project now more with my own funds, after friends and the team helped so much.  But I am not sure how much I will be able to save until summer.

Training has still been reduced. As soon as I am in the water and swimming or out running, I feel really good, but the warm pools are difficult and I do need more discipline. And the Neckar has not been inviting at all – it has been muddy ever since the snow melted. Some yoga – including my children yoga classes – and a little weight training at home help to keep my muscles up. My preferred pose, great for arm and shoulder training: the dolphin (video)!

Dolphin-asana          Moved to September

But August started to look more and more improbable and I had not even paid my full deposit – so I talked to my pilot and he agreed to move my 4th place slot to September – with the idea of maybe only doing another Channel solo this year, with a more comfortable amount of body fat, and postponing the triathlon project to 2010. That would allow me to do the Zurich lake swim beginning of August as a great training swim (instead of the 12 hours now in March) – and give me a good reason to keep training on a more intense level than I would otherwise and enjoy the way even longer. I often feel, sports can be like a spiritual sadhana – for others it may be art, music etc. (In a way I am quite grateful it didn’t happen last year – I feel there is much more to get out of the whole adventure, on many different levels.)

Should I win the lottery I might still concentrate more on the triathlon – only I am not buying any tickets. But right now, the idea of a second “training” Channel solo this year and returning to Dover again – where I had the greatest time last year –  in 2010 feels good. In Germany we have a saying: “Aller guten Dinge sind drei – all good things come in threes”. So I am trying to leave it up to a higher will.

Updates will be a bit more frequent now, I promise.

Fascinating Read

lynne_cox_swimming_to_antarcticaOver the weekend I got immersed in Lynne Cox`s gripping and deeply inspiring autobiographic “thriller”: “Swimming to Antarctica”. The title is slightly misleading, because in this book she recounts most or even all of her important and historic swims – from the Channel world record swim in 1972 to her swim of the Millennium: crossing the 40°F Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia during the Cold War in 1987. Including the incredible story about her Cook Strait crossing, where dolphins came to help her when conditions got so bad she was about to give up. It is all about absolute dedication, determination, vision, self-transcendence and a deep awareness of the oneness of humanity.

A friend from Seattle had sent me a copy of the book with a signed personal note from Lynne (we have only met on Facebook so far, as part of the open water swimming community).  I realised I could have met her in 1987 in New York, where she was celebrated after her world-changing feat – only we were so caught up in the launch of the first edition of what has become the World Harmony Run since then. It is great to see, however, how the ideal of a global world family is persued and expressed in so many different ways. Hope you will hold the Harmony Run torch one day, Lynne – in case you come to read this!

As to reading the book – absolutely recommend to anyone who is into the spirit of breaking barriers – you do not have to be a swimmer to get carried away and inspired by it!

Winter training

Since last September, my swim training has been pretty reduced, but I put on some more weight, without much effort, and was happy to find that running is still possible at 85 kg  (my weight of 1985, last year it was only 77 kg) – although it may be easier in winter than in scorching heat in summer, but now my first and foremost goal is the Channel – the rest will work somehow. I am trying to acclimatise better to cold water this year and plan to use the Neckar and a nearby lake quite a bit more.

A dip in the Neckar on Jan. 11, 2009

A dip in the Neckar on Jan. 11, 2009

Today, pool training started, with a view to participate in the 12 hour indoor swimming event in Zurich on March 1st.

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