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’m getting close to finishing my swim across the English Channel this summer. More importantly, I’m confused as to how I should refer to the swim. It’s not a literal swim across the Channel, but it’s also not figurative. I am literally swimming 21 miles, just not actually in the Channel. Maybe a combination of literal & figurative? Liturative? Figeral? Regardless, you get the idea. I’m swimming a lot this summer. But maybe not enough. I’m still 5 miles away from France’s shores, and summer is quickly slipping away.
I am close enough to almost smell the French fries fying, see the French rolls rolling, and hear the French champagne corks popping. Just a couple weeks ago, I almost threw in the towel, although not lituratively or figerally. My pool succumbed to mustard algae again and turned this lovely color.
If I flounder now, it’s on France’s shoulders to come rescue me. Who knows what my French rescuers may throw to me as floatation devices in case I am in distress? Maybe empty champagne bottles and merveilleux fromage français (or wonderful French cheese for our English-speaking readers). The French have so much cheese that they use for so many things that I just assume that they also use it for water rescues. But will it float? Fortunately, we have an expert on the buoyancy of cheese (good name for an album) standing by who can answer that question.
Well, that’s not far enough. At this rate, I will be at just under 17 miles out by the end of August. I will be too far from Dover for the British to mount an ocean rescue, and the French simply won’t care.
The reality is that crappy weather got me off to a late start swimming this summer, and I strained a knee ligament during my first open water swim which has slowed me a bit. Oh, and I also injured my butt when I had the “brilliant” idea to try jumping part of the way across the Channel.
I’ve been trying to split my swims between pools and open water. At this point, I have 5 miles of pool swims in with 3.4 miles in open water. Getting in the open water swims has not been as easy as I expected.
I had hopes of cycling through fields of Purple Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans to get to a secluded, illegal swimming hole, which is typically the best kind. Well, the flowers didn’t disappoint.
I kicked off my summer swimming season when I was on my recent trip with my daughter. I swam indoors over 3 mornings and totaled 1 mile. It felt good getting back in the pool, but I yearned for open water swimming. Today was the day. The only thing keeping me from a 7:30AM swim in a deep water quarry with 66 degree F/19 degree C water when the air temp was 62F/17C was common sense. Well, that has never been much of a deterrent to me in life. I would definitely literally be in over my head today in the water.
I was also figuratively in over my head today. I pulled in as another swimmer was having his wife (assuming they were married because who else would be crazy enough to be out there with him?) help him prepare for his swim with wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, emergency inflatable, amphetamines, swim diaper, etc. He and many others present were serious swimmers training for triathlons. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his car.