This is it! Beltquerung, here I come! Swim slot, escort boat, medical attests, accommodation, my personal crew onboard – everything is settled. I have now officially booked my swim across the Fehmarn Belt between Denmark and Germany, aka “Beltquerung”. I’ve been allocated a slot between 8th and 14th August. Which way I’ll be swimming the 21 km that separate the two countries will depend on the actual weather conditions. Symbolically it’d be great to start in Germany and finish in Denmark. But the decision will be up to my pilot. We’ll see what happens on the big day.
Am I excited? Hell, yeah! I’ve been waiting for this moment for a whole year now, since I had to postpone my crossing last summer due to medical reasons. But 2016 is MY year. I have a good feeling about it and I’m channeling all my positive energy into my Beltquerung. It’s my big goal of the year and I want it to be a blast!
Also I’ve decided to leave my comfort zone and try to comply with the official rules set out by The Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF). That means – wearing nothing but a regular swimming costume (no wetsuit), a regular cap made of silicone, a pair of goggles and a handful of grease on my naked body.
Last year I had convinced myself I would do the swim with my wetsuit on – I had a million reasons for that. But my training camp in Lanzarote in January made me think again. Of all the reasons I could think of, only one is valid. It’s the physical aspect. My body may not be able to adapt to the cold and resist to 10 hours of swimming “naked” in 14 °C water. If it appears to be the case, well, then be it! I’ll take my wetsuit on. But all the other reasons are nothing but excuses I had made up in order to make it as comfortable for myself as possible. But I can do better than that! 😉
Back in January I met some amazing people in Lanzarote. Those swimmers were really tough. None of them had a typical competition background. You know, the kind that’s all about speed and my-willy-is-bigger-than-yours. Those four Irish lads and the two lovely ladies from England and the US were completely down to earth. It was all about the water, being in it and challenging themselves at their own pace. It was all about the experience, exploring the marine environment while pushing off boundaries. None of them wore a wetsuit or used any kind of equipment whatsoever. It was only them and the ocean and you could see the joy and satisfaction in their eyes every time they came out of the water after a longer swim.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel slightly out of place in their company, all muffled up in my neoprene, but this feeling was definitely for the better. Those guys were a huge inspiration. They reminded me of my own “original” motivation, the reasons that have been driving me ever since I decided to embark on this crazy journey – my love of the open water and my love of taking on new challenges. So I came back home with renewed energy. No more hiding behind countless millions of excuses! I want to give it a try – at least during my training up to the Beltquerung. I’ve decided to do my best to acclimate to cold water over longer distances. I will only use my wetsuit as a very last resort. I may be a skinny bitch, but I won’t give up unless I have given it a decent shot. Make or break!
Right now I feel more ready than ever. Everything is booked in Germany and I’ve started to swim in the open water again without my wetsuit. The water is only 3 °C at the moment, so I’m only doing very few meters. But my season has officially started. The challenge is on and it’s all that matters.
I CAN do it, and I WILL do it!
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