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The goal that went away

ZombieI wish I could blame it all on a meteor attack or a zombie apocalypse. Some far-out excuse I didn’t have to relate to. That would be so convenient, but I’m not sure it’d take away the frustration. Because the facts are still the same – I won’t be ready in time for my crossing between Denmark and Germany in August.

The first reason is the weather. This year, spring has failed to deliver in Denmark, and obviously summer has decided to run past us as well. With crazy winds and water temperatures distinctly low for the season, the longest I could swim without my wetsuit by mid June was only 3 km. Surely it’s helped me acclimate to the cold as I’ve spent hours on regaining my body heat with hot drinks and warm clothes after my swims. Windy dayBut sitting in front of the fireplace in the middle of June like it was February – come on, that’s ridiculous! As the weeks went by, the weather conditions left me nearly 1.5 month behind schedule. It was more about surviving my swims than enjoying them. I was training under constant pressure, feeling I was running out of time and falling short of practice. My swimming had become a burden more than an energy booster.

The second reason is my physical and mental condition. My jaw surgery back in December and my subsequent burnout have had a bigger impact on me than I expected. My pride took a bit of a battering when I realised I didn’t have the strength nor the speed I had last season. It’ll take time to get back to where I let off. So swallow it all, sister, and get your arse moving! You’ve got work to do!
At the same time, two funerals within a month and a few other mishaps in my private life lately have also taken an unexpected toll of my mental strength. You know I’m always one for a bit of drama, but this time my emotions have overwhelmed me and I need some space to rebuild myself.

Fehmarn BeltBy the end of June I felt kind of stuck. I felt I’d been fighting the water for months. My training was rather aggressive; there was nothing gentle about it anymore. And THAT is wrong! So I had no choice, but to pluck up enough courage to postpone my swim across the Fehmarn Belt in August. The decision was not easy to make, and it took me some time to accept to let go of my main goal in 2015.  But no doubt it was the right thing to do. I’m not on top of my game, so there’s no point in pressuring myself even more with a lofty (and pricy) goal. A complete failure is the last thing I need right now, so I decided to refocus. It was time for some positive energy! Time to turn the colour up on my swimming!

London Baby!First thing to do – get some me-time! So I went to London with Martin to visit our dear friend Benedicte. We decided to spend the weekend totally disconnected – no phone, no WI-FI, no Facebook, no nothing. And what a relief! Four days of sheer unwinding in great company, sailing up and down the Thames. We did nothing but eat, drink and sleep for four days. Back to the basics – sometimes life can be so beautifully simple with people you love around you.

London Baby!_2Back home I decided to treat myself with a new weekly massage routine. Time to relax and be good to my body – and it loves it! At the same time, I’ve also made new plans with my trainer Susanne. From this autumn I’ll resume my weekly training with her for 30 weeks. Only she can help me restore my strength and my confidence. She’s the perfect whip cracker for me and I always leave the pool buzzing with motivation. So I’m quite sure she’ll put me back on track. Also, I’ve registered with a second local swimming club so I can practice with an official squad three times a week. That should give me plenty of opportunities for a well-targeted winter season. I’m definitely committed to do everything I can to be the best version of me by summer 2016. The year where I’m bound to shine as I’ll be turning 40 – the age of the fit and the fabulous! (No, you can’t take the gay out of me) 😉

DKSE_Last but not least, I’ve redefined my season plan for this year. Next stop is a short but challenging swim between Denmark and Sweden this weekend. Instead of being a minor goal on my way to Germany, this crossing is now all about having fun while fighting against the elements with most of my team in the water and on board the escort boat. Hopefully it’ll go better than last year, but the weather forecasts are not very promising – Long live Green Winter 2015! 😮

I also have a few other exciting swims scheduled for the rest of the summer – one between the Swedish island of Ven and Denmark, and another one all the way around this same island. At the end of August I’ll enter Round Christiansborg for the fourth year in a row. More than ever this year’s edition will be something of a social gathering as I’ll be swimming in the same heat as 10-12 of my friends and clients. Let’s get this party started!

From now on it’s all about having fun and savouring the experiences. No more lagging behind because of the weather or some other reasons. The rest of this season is about getting back on my feet so I’m ready to cross the Fehmarn Belt next year – and ultimately the English Channel. The stronger I’ll be, the better are my chances of succeeding. My main goal for 2015 may have gone away, but my dream is still intact.


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