Whilst the wait and the uncertainty was agonising, I do now have a very clear appreciation for what's involved, and will be very well prepared next year.
It's been tough returning to life as normal without having resolved the goal of the last 15 months. It feels very strange, knowing that I was so ready but unable to deliver on the challenge. I've thrown myself back into work and family life, and whilst I've turned up to squad training a couple of times, I am yet to pull my head together properly and get on with training properly. Hopefully this week will be the beginning of the next phase of training, and I'll get back into the groove.
One major incentive that I do have is the massive tyre I developed around my waist in the two weeks I was waiting to swim in the UK. I was deliberately indulging in massive quantities of food, to help carb-load and bulk up to manage the crossing. I have friends who managed to shed 5kgs on the way across the Channel. I had gained the 5kgs, but given I didn't swim I still have them with me! Not a great look, and certainly making me feel pretty uncomfortable! My normal weight (pre-channel training) was 85kgs. I now sit as a monstrous 94kgs, more than 10% overweight!
I have booked in for July 13th neap tide, and so this gives me only 9 months to focus. The big challenge in swimming this early in the year will be the cold, so no doubt some training with the crazy "black ice" crew in Melbourne will required in April, May, June.
For the time being, I plan on getting back into the routine, and will roll in some gym and yoga time too to help me gain some strength and flexibility. Given the 9 months to train, I would like to think I can get a lot faster in the water, so I will definitely be focusing on my technique too.
Thank you all for the many supportive messages received both before and after the (non)-event. I really appreciate it, and your support goes a long way to making it all worthwhile. Together we have raised $34,000 which will help so many families under the guidance of Opportunity International and their partners. Thank you, on behalf of all these very deserving people.