8 Bridges Stage 4 – It’s finally time


Three years ago, I had a swim disappointment. A few days before Stage 4 of the 8 Bridges Swim in New York, I had to drop out. (See my post about it HERE.)

At the time, it was to be my first swim of at least 15-miles, but with water temperatures in the low-60s, I knew it wasn’t right for me. (Raynaud’s Syndrome is NOT my friend!)

I ended up doing the Cape May Circumnavigation Challenge that year, and since then, I have completed a number of swims of 15-miles or more. 8 Bridges, however, has remained the swim undone. The one I dropped out of. The swim I wasn’t tough enough for, at least that year.

This year, I had another swim disappointment.

My husband was sick. Really really sick. And while he’s okay now, he was in the hospital for days. This meant that I had to miss out on another swim dream – the Swim Around Key West last weekend. True to form, he was insistent that I go, encouraging me over and over again, but strangely, it just doesn’t feel right to get on an airplane when your husband is attached to an IV. But then, I’m funny that way.

Having to drop out made me sad. I’d worked hard, and Key West was supposed to be my training swim for the beautiful Lago d’Orta Marathon Swim next month.

I posted a plea on facebook. Friends–where should I swim? What race can I do?

And here is why I love the marathon swimming community: within minutes, people were posting and making suggestions and offering races. There were races suggested all over the country, and really, the world, but there was one that stuck out.

David Barra, the most amazing steward of marathon swimming imaginable, and the Co-Director of the 8 Bridges swim, let me know that there was a spot, and a kayaker ready, and that I could have it.

That’s how I ended up with Stage 4 as a part of my life again.

It was as if I was fated to go back. The swim that remained unfinished had called me back.

So that’s where I will be on Wednesday. Finally swimming the 15-miles that eluded me in 2013.

It will be another series of firsts. I’ve never done a long swim like this without my husband as my kayaker. I’ve never used a volunteer kayaker (what gift do I get them?!?), and I’ve never done a swim where I had to jump off of a boat in the middle of a river and get it going.

No matter what happens this year, I am getting in that water. And I’m going to swim. Whatever happens, Stage 4 is coming, and I’m going to swim.

Stay tuned!