Going into these swims, that take such an amazing GROUP effort....I can't help but just feeling overwhelmed with love and support. And that's really what carries me through. It's not that I am blessed with athletic talent that other's do not possess, it's that I've got all these amazing people in my life, some who've been around for a while, others who just stepped in, but these people and their words, just carry me through.
"You're my back bone, you're my cornerstone. You're my crutch when my legs stop moving. You're my head start. You're my rugged heart. You're the pulse that I've always needed. Like a drum, baby don't stop beating..."
I feel very reflective before my long swims. I think back on some things I should have done differently or maybe earlier :), but mostly I calm my fears and my worries with the support of my friends and family...and even the kind words of strangers.
I've always believed that encouragement is what builds greatness, its nothing big, but sometimes just hearing someone believes in you is the spark that's needed to ignite the flame. That's why I've made a very conscious effort in my life to avoid people who are negative, the people who tell you all the reasons you won't succeed, the ones who put you down and try and keep you down.
My family has been unbelievably supportive...I think short of literally swimming along with me, there is no way I could have a more supportive family. They drive hundreds of miles to be at my swims, they use their vacation time, they stay up all night...even though they call me crazy at each turn, they are always there, they always show up.
"When enemies are at your door I'll carry you away from war, if you need help, if you need help. Your hope dangling by a string, I'll share in your suffering to make you well, to make you well."
My friends have joined my foundation, joined my support crew and spread the word about these charity swims. The people who get behind all my crazy big dreams and don't try to build a ceiling over them. My friends the go-getters that are half the reason I'm able to do these swims. They too, always show up.
"When you fall like a statue I'm gonna be there to catch you put you on your feet, you on your feet. And if you well is empty not a thing will prevent me, tell me what you need, what do you need."
And then there are these kiddos...these special kiddos that grab at your heart from the first time you meet them. Anyone who asks me why I would do something like a 40 plus hour swim for someone I don't know that well hasn't met one of these kids.
Love. Love made me do it.