Mariel Hawley

Nadadora de Aguas Abiertas

English Version

We will be working in getting all the content of my blog in English.

12-April-2013

Have you set yourself a goal or challenge yet?

If you already have a sports goal you already have a clear picture of where you are heading, surely you’ve got an action plan to achieve your challenge.

If you do not have a goal yet, let me tell you something…, if you do not have a challenge that guides your workout and your effort to a specific purpose or target, it becomes very difficult to stay motivated and keep up training or working out or practicing a sport.

Have courage, and with enthusiasm, establish yourself a goal and work to achieve it!

I am giving you a formula that contains the most important ingredients to establish a goal, and to achieve it successfully… ready?

Make your goal a BIG one; I mean a goal that may appear to be unreachable, extraordinary, and uncommon, that you see it far away. This means a very big and important challenge for you.

This is a basic ingredient to keep moving your motivation towards your goal. If your target is small and easy to achieve or reach, it will turn into something that will make you easily loose motivation, since with a little effort you will reach your challenge; otherwise, if you have a great challenge, this will trigger your creativity and motivation in order to keep focused on working very hard day by day, in order to achieve the goal.

The other ingredient, which is as important as to set a BIG goal, is that you become aware of the amount of effort you will need to achieve your great challenge. The effort and work you will need to achieve your goal will be proportional to the importance of your goal or challenge. Therefore, keep in mind that for a GREAT goal or challenge you will need EXTRAORDINARY effort and work.

Remember, your effort and hard work will lead you to your goal. There are some people who think that achieving a goal requires a mid size effort, a little workout every now and then and some dedication, I can tell you, it requires a huge extra dosage of hard work and dedication on an every day basis.

However, I can also tell you that your everyday maximum effort, will one day lead you to achieve your goal, and to achieve it with a very big smile.

My wish for you is that you dream big and you do it with your eyes wide open, the way I dream, with my eyes open in order to overcome and defeat every day’s obstacles, working-out and training very hard, to make my dreams come true.

Best wishes,

Mariel

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9-Apr-13

For those who want to start…

Sometimes the first step is the hardest. When we do not know how to do something we think to start or to learn might be complicated, and at times there are people who would rather not give it a try, as they say…  “It’s not worth the shot!”

However, taking that first step, even with some fear, doubt or worry, encourages and fills us with confidence on taking the second and third steps and to continue on taking many more. This is what happens when we encourage ourselves to take the first step on doing exercise or workout after a life, or a long time of being sedentary… I remember almost 13 years ago, when I returned to swimming, after leaving it for a while, convincing myself on taking the first stoke took a lot of effort, and today, that first stoke, becomes the most important one of my swimming career.

Here are some tips for those who are encouraging themselves to start:

1.- Don’t hesitate, doubt harms too much, encourage yourself to take a walk or a run for a few minutes, then take a walk for a few more, and alternate, starting bit by bit and smooth, enjoying every step you take.

2. – If you have already taken the first step, take the second one!

3. – If during the same week you can accomplish three days of workout, even if it is walking, running, going up and down the stairs, jumping a rope for a while or anything like it, you have given a great first step, if you keep it up for a month it will become a part of your daily routine, and you’ll see how every day you’ll feel better and willing to continue and follow that path.

I started one day, at a small pool, and by the third day, felt like a seal circling in a pond, but happy to have started… My stokes in the water have become strokes of strength, commitment and success; this is what I wish for your steps, to become a part of a large path of success!

Courage for your first step, take it and enjoy what will come…

Best wishes,

Mariel

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1-apr-13

Sunny Days

A week of vacations, sunny days, water days and lots of activity. Laughing moments with friends and family that make everyone happy and ready for things to come. Every training day that goes by gets harder and finding time to train gets complicated. Days start very early in the morning, with my kids and I enjoying hours full of activities such as water skiing, swimming, and hours and hours on the beach, jogging and surfing hundreds of waves. Night hours get long too, there is a difference between now and when they were small, because then,  after 9pm there was no way they would be awake but now, nine comes and then ten and eleven o clock comes and they are still enjoying their vacations and I enjoy watching them happy but also I´m counting the hours that I will sleep before my alarm rings, telling me it is time to train… When I hear the alarm at 6am my body doesn’t react, I am so tired that it takes me a lot of time to wake up and get ready to go and swim. I have done this every day and when I finally dive into the water and start swimming, even though my shoulders are heavy and I still feel a bit soar from all the activity I have had in the week, stroke by stroke I feel better and I smile, a big smile that shows that I am proud of myself for being in the water swimming even though it is vacation time. I have said it before and I have thought about it these days: training doesn’t know the word “vacation”.

Very soon, August 18th,  will come and I will be ready for Ederle Swim, 18 miles from Battery Park, Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey and I will surely think of the training days during vacations and I am sure that I will smile full of confidence and strength. I hope it will be like that! Imagen

18-mar-13

Waiting days in Dover..   My English Channel swim!

Time and life are measured differently for all swimmers that are attempting to swim across the English Channel. The waiting days in Dover acquire another rhythm and a quite peculiar routine. Succeeding in the attempt has nothing to do with what happens in this city during the days prior to the swim. What swimmers experience, listen, think, talk, absolutely everything is connected to the strip of sea I contemplated from the airplane window and that shines as a mirror under the dawn light.

There is no time passing in such a distressing manner as it does in this place. I could dare to compare this expectation with the stage prior to a baby’s birth. On one hand, it is one of the most desired moments for a mother but on the other, it also brings an uncertain and anxiety feeling. The days prior to the swim you experience this same, but deeper feeling. Routine changes and transforms depending on the weather conditions and the weather forecast for the next hours. Every day you must train at least ninety minutes inside the Harbor of Dover. That is necessary to start feeling the temperature and saltiness of the water and start getting a sense of the ocean, in summary, start feeling the Channel. Days go by and during training the swimmer feels closer to his/her attempt, but at the same time, the swimmer also feels farther. Restlessness and uncertainty increase by the minute…Imagen

5-mar-13

The English Channel from above

I perfectly saw the English coast in front of the French portion of land known as Cap Gris Nez and in the middle a strip of water shining as a mirror under the morning sunrise. I could not stop staring; I was absorbed, captivated, almost hypnotized. The stewardess approached me offering a cup coffee. When she noticed that I did not answer, she touched my shoulder and asked: “Are you feeling all right?” Did I feel all right? Can someone who has been dreaming about something for the last year feel all right? Considering that such dream suddenly appears before you eyes, so tangible, so real, almost like magic. Of course not! I did not feel all right; I felt outside myself, there were a lot of expectations towards that strip of water. For the last 10 months I thought of the English Channel on a daily basis, and, in that moment, I had it before my eyes.

For a moment, the English Channel “intentionally” posed for me, I was able to contemplate it, analyze it, examine it. It introduced itself with its best face, full of sunrays reflecting on the water. Seemed like it did not want to hide anything; it was simply there, posing for me, letting me appreciate it as a whole from up above.

With this image imprinted in my mind, I got off the airplane.

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My English Channel Solo Swim

23-feb-13

I´m working on the translation of my book Días Azules…Imagen

I have been swimming for more than nine hours and I am cold. My shoulders are so heavy. For more than three hours I have been swallowing water each time I turn my head around to breathe. My throat hurts. My tongue is swollen because of the salt. My eyes are burning because of the sea water filtering through the goggles. In two more minutes I will stop to take the every half-an-hour hydration that will give me energy to keep on swimming.

I am trying to keep my mind in peace. I think of the phrase that I have repeated to myself throughout the swimming: “I inhale, I have faith; I exhale, I am in peace”. I am doing my best to stroke efficiently, producing heat in order not to fall into hypothermia. I do not know if I will be able to continue, I am at my limit.

The English Channel separates France and Belgium from England. The narrowest portion between these two points has 33 kilometers in straight line. Crossing this strait has been meaningful for navigation, commerce, politics and sport. It is considered the “Everest” for open water swimmers. In 1886 Captain Mathew Webb swam across the English Channel for the first time and, since then, countless swimmers have tried to cross it. Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim across in 1936. Less than thirty Mexicans have crossed it swimming as a solo swim. Out of this number, less than 50 percent are women. Very few of them do it to help others. I am one of these women, and being at my limit, I decided to swim another half an hour.

This is my story.

8-February-2013

Im ready to… Swim for your Heart!
This event is organized in Mexico as part of the Swim for your Heart, Valentine´s Day, campaign in order to bring awareness of heart disease. To take care of the most important vital organ that we have: our heart. Sometimes we think that because we exercise, we have a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits we will not be at risk to have some heart problem but we forget that we should get our blood pressure checked at least twice every year.

Swim for your Heart is a campaign in order to bring awareness of heart disease; many swimmers around the world will join this campaign and will swim on February 14 in order to share the awareness of taking care of our heart. This year, as the two previous, Sport City Fitness Club swimmers will join Swim for your Heart and we will try to have at least 2013 swimmers joining this very special Swim for your Heart campaign. Also, Sport City Fitness Club will donate an economic contribution in favor of the Mexican Heart Foundation.

If you want to join Swim for your Heart, next February 14, swim at least one kilometer and share the awareness of heart disease with those around you. You can share with them that the most important thing we can all do is to get a med check-up at least once a year and a blood pressure check-up twice a year. By doing this we are doing a lot more than we realize.

Today, I visited the National Institute of Cardiology, the Heart Rehabilitation Unit and realized that the kilometers that I had swam in 2011 and 2012 as part of this campaign, have really helped to share the awareness and to take care of many people´s heart.

I will celebrate this Valentine´s Day by swimming for the heart of someone else.

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25-January-2013

Remembering my Father

Last Saturday I did my first 3 hours training towards 2013 Ederle Swim, next August.
I swam in one of my favorite places, Las Estacas, a very beautiful place about one hour from Mexico City.

My kids, Andrea and Lalo, as well as my mom came with me and on our way to Las Estacas, we were talking and planning our day. I told them that almost 2 years ago, a few days before my dad’s death, he and Lalo came with me to Las Estacas, and we recalled the incredible moments we spend that time and remembered that my dad loved this amazing place. That’s why we all dediced that spending the day at Las Estacas would be a great way to remember my dad and to think about how he spent his life loving and being kind to his family. Also, remembering all he did during his life as a doctor, transforming so many people´s lives and helping them in many ways.

I swam three hours, enjoying the river, the cold and crystal water, the acuatic plants and all the vegetation of this place. All the Green from around the river filled me up with energy on each stroke. I also recalled the wonderfull moments I spent with my dad in this place. His life was a plentiful one and eventhough he is no longer here with us, he left his loving memory so that we can love and take care of others the way he did.

I swam a lot of meters and kilometers in order to to have my reserve ready for Ederle Swim. I enjoyed swimming with Nora Toledano @NoraToledanoC and Carlos Komori and I wish they both achieve their swimming dreams they have for this year. I thank Ariadna Del Villar @DocdelDeporte, for her support. And I can assure you, that we all had a great time and my mom, Lalo, Andrea and I, remembered my father in a very special way.
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18-January-2013

I wore the medal on my neck!!

Today I got my certificate from the Swim across the Catalina Channel. When I looked at it my eyes filled with tears. How much effort, so many hours swimming in the dark, all the biting from the jellyfish, all those strokes to achieve this swim and 100 surgeries for kids with cleft lip and palate! After a little while I wore the medal on my neck!!

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15-January-2013

Supporting someone else…

Everyday there is something that pushes us down, makes us sad and makes us doubt about what we are doing. Sometimes we ask ourselves if it is worthwhile to continue in our way that requires us effort and work and even though our mind plays us and becomes our first enemy, I am convinced that in these moments of sadness, solitude, fear, pain and distress we should have the attitude of willingness to fight and carry on.

Several times we want to be strong to support other people but if we let ourselves be defeated each time we come across a difficulty or obstacle in the way, it will be very tough to support someone else and we are just going to be next to someone in his difficult time instead of giving him/her strength and support. Some people say that the true support is when someone takes the heat for oneself or when we take the place of the person living the situation to the fullest to endure his pain, suffering or distress to relieve the person and free him of this charge so heavy that weakens him. To be able to do this we need to be strong and have an attitude of steel.

Today I am convinced that I need to become stronger everyday so when it is necessary to carry the burden of someone, I will actually be able to be their support and carry the burden. With this idea in my head last Saturday I went out with my son, Lalo, to “Paso de Cortes” to run over 10k. We enjoyed the place a lot. It is incredible. Running between the “Iztccíhuatl” and “Popocatépetl” volcano is a gift from nature. We are lucky to be able to enjoy this place. Even though we ran we didn’t train, this was not a training, we strengthen ourselves to be stronger to support other people.

With this attitude we can continue defeating obstacles that come across each day and work like this to make our dreams come true and help others so that their dreams come true as well.

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3-January-2013

Happy New Year!

I wish your 2013 is full of blessings and a lot of dreams to make them happen!

I love the idea to start a year that for sure will bring a lot of surprises but today I thank that I start with health, with my family and with a great enthusiasm to carry out new projects that will bring benefits to others.

A lot of people have asked me what I will be swimming this year and I am so glad to share with you that I will be swimming the Ederle Swim. This is a swim to honor Gertrude Ederle, the first woman that swam the English Channel, she did this is 1926! I have been there and I recognize the effort and such a big accomplishment she did, breaking the boundaries of the school of thought of that time and the stereotypes and expectatios! When she swam the English Channel only 5 men had made it and her time was much better than all of them. But a few years later she became deaf. She was deaf most of her life and kept on fighting to not be discriminated or locked up. If today I had the opportunity to invite someone to swim with me I would invite her! I admire this woman, brave, avant-garde, committed, enthusiast and pioneer in open water swimming. This great woman died when she was 97 years old, November 30, 2003. This year it´s the 10th year since her death and I honor her memory by swimming the Ederle Swim August 18, to recall a great woman in the history of mankind.

The route of the Ederle Swim is from Battery Park, Manhattan to Sandy Hook, Connecticut, they are about 17.5 miles and each stroke will be a stroke to bring hope and love to all the people who have lost a close one in the tragic episode of Sandy Hook that made me really sad. Life goes on and while I am still alive I will do what I can to help change people’s lives that are in need. Through the project “Quiero Sonreir” (I want to smile) I have helped to change the lives of many children with cleft lip and palate, I hope through Ederle Swim I can continue to do it. My strokes to get more smiles!

0_0_540_425Gertrude Ederle Swimming English Channelgertrude-ederleimages-3IMG-20121023-WA004

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