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Breaking the waves

Picture by Thomas Voller

First, a couple of herniated discs. Then, an emergency jaw surgery and the death of my dog. And now, a series of strained intercostals because of a simple stretch on my way out of bed in the morning. My life’s been quite stormy lately. But you know what? I’ve never had better sea legs!

Mentally, I’ve never been in a more confident place. Although I’ve had a few setbacks in my training, I feel at the top of my game. Thanks to intensive sessions with my trainer Susanne this winter, my technique and feel of the water have significantly improved, resulting in a new PB on 100 MSC at the end of my training camp in early June. My stamina is still lagging a little behind, but I know I’ll be ready for my crossing of the Fehmarn Belt between Germany and Denmark in time.

Like a blessing in disguise, it’s been a rather cold and rainy spring in Denmark this year and the water temperatures were lower than usual, so the conditions were optimal for my training. Capitalizing on my experience from the past couple of years, I no longer fear the cold. I know my body’s limitations and reactions to hypothermia and it’s made it possible for me to swim for hours on end in waters around 13 °C. And you know what the best thing is? I enjoy every second of it! 🙂

Now, the water temperature has finally reached 15-16 °C, so it should make the conditions perfect for my six hours test swim on 8th/9th July. This year, I’ve decided to cross the Sound from the Swedish Isle of Ven to the Danish coast again. If the currents are favourable, I intend to swim all the way from Ven to my home base Snekkersten. It could be fun to swim all the way back home. If not, I’ll stop at the first Danish harbour I come across after six hours. Time will tell. 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

More than anything, death has a way of bringing me back to reality, as it reminds me of the impermanence of life. Relatives we lose to cancer or a loyal pet we put to rest – loss is the price we pay for time passing by. Once again this spring, loss has made me reflect on the choices I make and refocus on the essential – the people I love and our places in each other’s lives. Sticking blindly to my dreams will never make me complete. My dreams are only one piece of the bigger picture. Once this whole swimming thing is over, there must be no place for regrets. While training and planning my next swims, I try to stay attentive to the interests of the ones I value the most. It’s my responsibility – and a very delicate balance to maintain – and I’m doing the best I can.

One at a time, I’ve been breaking all the waves life has thrown at me for the last six months. I’ve never felt stronger or more confident. The next step is my six hours test swim mid-July, and then my crossing of the Fehmarn Belt (DE-DK) during the first week of August. My team and I are ready to kick some ass! There is only one thing left for us to do – and it’s to pray for decent weather! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼





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