Thursday, July 13, 2017

The 'Au'au without the OW! OW!

I think I always assumed that I would swim in the Maui Channel at some point.

5 years seemed like a good goal, so I set up a swim for 2016.
The weather didn't cooperate and it didn't happen.
It did give me a chance to stand on the shore of the KBH, look out at the water and wonder what it would have been like if 2 people had acted differently. (Picture plenty of gulping and a few tears)

The next day was quite different because I was able to have a long lunch with Bill and Greg.
I hadn't seen these two since I was in the hospital, but they were on jet skis with Grant and were part of my rescue team in 2011.

It's strange to meet people that you owe so much to, but they quickly made me feel comfortable and both shared that they'd really like to help me get across the channel safely whenever I was ready.  

A handshake turned into a hug and we had a plan.

That plan was to go stealth and lean; 
Bill, Greg, and Grant would be on jet skis, and maybe we would have a boat captained by Nalu.

It's hard to keep things from your friends and family, but I needed to release all control to Greg and Grant so that there would only be one plan/one purpose - for me to safely swim in the channel. Swimming the entire channel was secondary to getting a good long swim in and then clawing my way up on to the beach in Ka'anapali.

I know that this has hurt some of my friends (and family), but I hope that they will forgive me.

The swim was better than I could have ever asked for;  Sunny skies, no wind and no swell for the entire swim.  Best of all - I didn't think about 2011 until we reached the point that I was hit.
Grant and I chugging away
Wiki says 'Au'au translates to "to take a bath" for the calm bath-like conditions between Lana'i and Maui can have.  I'd seen glimpses of these conditions, but never for this long.

I am so grateful for all the support that I had in Hawaii (Scot, BL, Chris, Judith, Greg, Bill, Grant, Nalu) and my great group of friends in CA.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

5 Years Later

I wrote this last year shortly before my first trip back to Maui.

I'd planned to swim the channel and it forced me to reflect on the swim and how I was hurt.

When I showed the draft to a friend, she asked me "What is your goal in writing and sharing this?".

I gave her an answer, but I am not sure why I feel the need to post this.

Maybe it's because it changed my life, my future and every relationship I will ever have.

Or maybe because it's because I still meet swimmers who think my injury was due to some freak accident.

Whatever the it is.

And this past weekend I swam the channel.