Saturday, October 14, 2006

Shh! I’ve Escaped…

I'm still alive.

Just before 8:30 this morning I jumped off a ferry boat and swam to shore on Alcatraz Island and then on to the start line. At 8:30 about 1,200 certainly partially insane people started swimming to the mainland. I was one of perhaps fifty of those swimming without a wet suit.

During the swim I had no trouble with the cold. My little red bonnet insulated me perfectly. Several hours after, I'm still cold which is longer than normal but I think that's because I kept my wet bathing suit on through breakfast, because there was no place to change at the beach.

The other thing is that I was not particularly tired after the swim. Ok I could hardly stand but that's because my legs were stiff because I don't kick and so they just mostly sit there. If you had said "OK, You can go back now", I probably would have and could have. Once you get good at some things you can do it in ways that would surely kill normal people.

It is a long swim. There are no markers. There's no way of knowing where you are. During my English Channel swim, my boat blew its fog horn every fifteen minutes. In the Alcatraz swim, it could be half way or maybe just a quarter of the way or maybe it's really still near the start. More than once I thought the thought of the thought of quitting. I was nowhere taking the action but it's rare for such thoughts to even come up.

Lessons learned: It's not the thing to do if you are on a low sodium diet. Swimming bonnets can give you a bright red hickey on your throat. The view is breathtaking during the microseconds you take your breath.

I'm writing this while sitting in Zara and H&M and daughter Cynthia is shopping. So it's back to a normal life. Well, sort of. Tomorrow I fly to Europe for my next Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board meeting.

Many thanks the Cynthia, Kathy and Monique send-off team and to my incredible reception team (in ABC order) Cynthia, Diana, Fran, Liz, Norman and Renee. Was it the best glass of Champagne ever? In the top ten certainly. Thanks to Becky for introducing me to Coach Laura who sped up my swimming a good 20%. Ditto Dolphin Club. Also thanks for all the messages of encouragement. Once I told you, there was no looking back.

There will be one more message in this thread with photos and results.

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