After competing in triathlons for 9 years, I decided it was time to try something different. In the back of my mind I had always had this idea that I would try to swim the English Channel some day. Now, after almost 2 years of distance swimming training, that day is almost here!

Plot of my course

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Packing day


No swimming again today. I had intended to go to the Darlington YMCA and do a short workout but I just had too much to do to get packed. I am still not finished. It's a challenge to get all the warm weather clothes, drink mixes, water bottles, etc into two 50 pound max suitcases. Plus I am taking a somewhat large Lego set to a swim friend in the UK for her grandson. But it will all work out. I like packing challenges. Must have a little engineer in me.

My support person on the boat will be Dr. Bonnie Crickman. She lives in Darlington, SC as we do. One of her daughters, Anna, will be joining us on the trip. Anna is in Jacob's 5th grade class at Thomas Hart Academy. Bonnie, Anna, and another one of Bonnie's daughters, Sara, came over today to do a little logistical planning. She will be quite busy and is a very important part of my team. For instance, I will probably stop briefly every 30 minutes for a warm energy drink and other nutrition such as energy gel, mini Milky Way bar or banana. She also will count my strokes per minute every once in a while to ensure I am not significantly slowing. She will not have a lot of down time and it will be a very long day for all of us start to finish. We talked about how to mix my drink, how to get it to me (sports bottle attached to a retractable dog leash), putting the channel grease and sunscreen on me, seasick medicine, pain medicine, how we will communicate and lots of other details.

The picture above is a signpost close to the bed and breakfast where we will be staying. I am not sure if is has a significant meaning but thought it was interesting. Kind of like the famous SC sign with "Clinton" pointing one direction and "Prosperity" pointing the other (not making a political statement here!). Anyone have any interpretations of the pic above?

My wife Lauri is very excited that I am doing this. In fact, she said I could get a Harley Davidson motorcycle I've had my eye on if I successfully make it across the channel. I am torn between the Fat Boy and Rocker C for those who know what those are. (OK, she really didn't say I could do that. I am just trying to see if she's reading this.)

Well, tomorrow I will go to church and then head over to the Florence airport by 2:00pm. I am just renting a car there and driving to Charlotte for a direct overnight flight to London Gatwick. I will arrive in London at 8:45am their time and then drive about 2 hours to Dover. I can't wait to get down to the Dover Harbor again for a swim. It will have been 3 days since I last swam. I can't remember how long ago I went 3 days without swimming! But the extra rest won't hurt.

4 comments:

S.Ting said...

Hi Allan,

You've created a developmental experience for me because I have never responded to a blog before. It was taken me a few attempts and a few lost emails (sad).

I just returned from France and am going back on Saturday. I plan to track your progress. I will be leading a workshop for a very senior group of leaders and you have provided me a wonderful example of life long leadership (self)and learning. We will be cheering you on!!!

I still dont understand why you cant use a wet suit. A friend of mine just accomplished a 2 mile swim across a lake in upstate New York and she found that to be major accomplishement!!

You are going down in my book as a hero.

Cheers,
Sharon

Allan said...

Sharon! Great to hear from you! And I am glad you successfully navigated through the system to me. This is my first time doing a blog but I am having a great time with it. I am in Dover now. Things are going well. A wet suit would be soooooo nice. The water here is just so cold it's hard to describe. At least it affects me pretty significantly. Anyway, I hope your travels go well. Thanks again for writing. And yes, Cheers!

Allan said...

Sharon! Great to hear from you! And I am glad you successfully navigated through the system to me. This is my first time doing a blog but I am having a great time with it. I am in Dover now. Things are going well. A wet suit would be soooooo nice. The water here is just so cold it's hard to describe. At least it affects me pretty significantly. Anyway, I hope your travels go well. Thanks again for writing. And yes, Cheers!

Allan said...

Oops. Told you I was new at this. The network was slow so I clicked twice and it posted twice. Guess that makes sense.