Bonjour France, J’ai Un Blaireau Dans Mon Pantalon

For you unsophisticated readers, I believe that title translates to “Hello France, I have finished my Channel swim,” but I could be mistaken and it may mean “Hello France, I have a badger in my pants.” I’m hoping for the former as I have figuratively arrived in France after my swim across the English Channel this summer. The French were quite excited for my arrival earlier this week.

You can see my route from the beach at Dover in England to just southwest of Calais per this map.

I finished my Channel swim with a total of 18.9 miles in my backyard pool and 4.3 miles swum in lakes and creeks. I really wanted to swim more in open water, but the weather canceled a couple long open water swims. And my sore left knee that I developed after my first open water swim of the season just seemed to get worse, so I stuck to the pool toward the end. I thought the swimming was good exercise to rehab the sore knee, but ironically, my knee is feeling much better after no swimming these last few days.

What’s next? Well, I’m not doing anything like that summer swim again. It got so tedious in August and September. And I retired our pool as it needed a new liner. I’ll be exclusively swimming elsewhere other than my backyard from now on.

I did inquire about Masters swimming with the Elgin Blue Wave swim team and received a warm invitation to join them in training in October. They train for 3 months at the end of the year, and then they compete once a month in the first few months of the new year. Then there is an Illinois state competition and even Nationals. It sounds like a fun way for me to get a participation ribbon, but they practice every Saturday & Sunday morning at 6:30AM! I would prefer to participate in sleeping late. And as Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t want to join a club that would have me for a member.” I am planning to swim every month where the Elgin Blue Wavers train, and if I ever get the urge to compete, I can enter meets as an independent swimmer, which I am. I almost never use my water wings any longer.

But when I do go without, I tend to stick to the shallow parts.


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