I stood on the beach and cried.
I cried because I’d done it. I have officially qualified to swim the Channel by completing six hours in water below 16 degrees. But I know my tears were for other reasons as well. Reasons that it’s too soon to write about but will eventually find their words.
Now that I am a certified contender it feels more frightening than ever. Six hours was hard but the real thing will be more than double that. I fear I haven’t got it in me and, if I’m honest, I question why I’ve chosen to take on one of the toughest physical and mental endurance tests on the planet especially as I already attempted one of those – not once but eleven times – and it never ended well. And just like IVF, the Channel has more chance of failure than success.
There is something in all this that makes me think of the last line of F Scott Fitzgerald’s beautiful book The Great Gatsby:
‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past’.
I guess I just hope that sometimes we all get the chance to swim with the current towards the future. Let this be my chance.