The Channel Checklist: January


It’s kind of funny, but I used to think that all I needed for swimming was a suit, cap and goggles.  Well… and a pool.  Now that we’re in the Year of the Channel, the list is so much longer.  It seeps into my time and my lifestyle.  It’s amazing how deliberate and thoughtful I have to be about most things.  To give you an idea, here’s a glimpse at some of January’s list as I slowly pick away at it.




I decided in December that my shoulder wasn’t getting any better and I’ve been seeing multiple professionals about this.  The good news is, it seems to be working!!!



As you all remember from the 25 mile In Search of Memphre swim, my feed made me terribly sick.  So I’ve been looking into alternatives.  Something basic and simple seems to be the best bet.


Just because there’s more to swimming now than a cap and goggles, doesn’t mean we should overlook them… and I had been neglecting them for quite some time.



I have a signed boat contract and deposit done.  I have the CSPF paperwork waiting, the medical paperwork on standby, and Ned Denison just sent me my 6 hour swim confirmation!  Hooray!  I also have my accommodations to double check on.  Plane tickets are totally booked.  It’s getting more and more real as more and more of the logistics get put into place.



I have multiple doctor’s appointments for my medical signoff. That’s a bit of a scheduling doozy when your doctor is in Rutland and you are in Brattleboro – but it needs to be done.  There’s a lot of health and safety things to think about when you want to swim across an ocean.


I have been trying to knock out my dental appointments and not my teeth.  For most people, going to the dentist is pretty routine… almost simple.  For me – with my work taking me all over the state of Vermont – I’ve had to play catch up in the last few months.  And I have to do it now so that it won’t interfere with my summer training. One must always try to think ahead.



… yielding yet another pile of paperwork to fill out.  Happily, the Memphre swim counts for a qualifier!


Let’s not forget that I need to up my daily yardage and weekly mileage.  For January, I was going for gradual increase, because anything else will shock the system.  It’s also a delicate balance of swimming more and not hurting yourself too bad.



December was a tough month for me.  Maybe November, too.  I was trying to do too much and though I was happy with my going nonstop… I wore myself right out.  I have found that if I don’t get enough sleep, it doesn’t matter how much I love anything or anybody – I will be a wreck.  I’m not really grumpy, but I cry a lot more.  And that’s not fun for anybody.  And so, occasionally sleeping in or going to bed early have to be in order.



Yeah, well… this wasn’t really on the list initially… it just kind of happened.  But it forced me to live in Brattleboro part time so that I can be more consistent in my training and at work AND still sleep.  The only sad thing is that I don’t get to see my dog for half of the week and that’s pretty hard for me.



Again.  Not really in the plan for the month of January… but I am very, very glad that I am not suffering any longer.


The sticky note reads, “Drink less caffeine.”  I was just way overdoing it with the not sleeping and the coffee and it wasn’t good.  SO… I’ve backed off.  And I’m trying to monitor my intake so that I don’t have to go through the entire withdrawal process again.



As part of my cross-training, I ran a race with Judy and David in January.  I have met people who run, but I’d never met somebody who loved running before I met Judy.  And her love for running was so contagious that sometimes I think that I love running too! …and then I try it and I really don’t – but I keep hoping that I will the next time, you know, when I go a little faster or a little farther.  It’s nice to think about it.  And, as all athletes know, thinking about it is most of the battle…



Ongoing physical therapy! This is actually one of my favorite parts of my life right now. I go to Vermont Sports Medicine and have my coffee and talk to the guys and they hurt my shoulder and it feels great and then I go meet Natalie for breakfast before heading to work. This is a happy, necessary part of my training that my soul needs as well as my shoulder.

So physical therapists, doctors, dentists…let’s just throw in some exercises at the end of the 2 hours of swimming or running or whatever other cross-training we’ve got going on… while I contemplate my next blog post, think about my next few steps after I finish all of the paperwork I have to get in order, mull around the idea of the next round of fees that should be paid, and wonder if the people working out next to me can tell that I’m starving death because I forgot to eat in the past 8 hours.

Eating. First on the list for February.

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