Elizabeth Taylor and Ariel the Little Mermaid

I have been pondering the beginnings of my desire to swim the channel.  I feel the need to take you with me, oh captive audience, into the deepest parts of my childhood psyche as I am fairly certain that my ambition to swim the English Channel stems from roots deep set from even as early as five years old.  I may, in fact, owe the awakening of it to two amazing women: Elizabeth Taylor and Ariel the Little Mermaid.

Ariel the Little Mermaid was one of the first movies I saw as a child.  I adored her because she had red hair, swam around all day, and sang.  This was my perfect world.  I, too, loved swimming, singing and I have red hair.  (Disclaimer: My red hair is not the source of my superpowers.)  My imagination would positively run away with profound plots when I would watch the first part of that movie – from the seagulls up until she got legs, I was fast captured with life under the sea.   To this day, I cannot fathom why somebody would trade a perfectly good fishtail in for a man.  Holy stupid move, Batman.

Elizabeth Taylor was in a movie called National Velvet.  That movie, as you may recall, was all about a horse.  I didn’t much care for horses.  Or that movie, honestly.   I don’t remember much of Elizabeth Taylor – I think she kind of annoyed me in that movie.  The only part of it that stuck with me was the part where Elizabeth Taylor’s mother talked about swimming the Channel.  And somehow, at five years old, that was imparted to me.  I am pretty sure I didn’t even know what the Channel was… I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know that England was a country.  I might have still wanted to spell my name with both letters and numbers.  (Sometimes, I still think this would be useful, actually.)

So. Yeah.  I guess everybody has their humble beginnings.  And tomorrow, November 6th, I am going swimming in Spring Lake.

Look how far we come in life, when we dare to become…

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