Today, I woke up with neck and shoulder pain, with a swollen tongue and my eyes like balls inside huge eyelids, seemed like toad eyes, all this because of the amount of seawater I swallowed yesterday during my swim. I woke up with a little cough. And while coughing my abdomen and throat hurt. Even when it was not cold, I think because of the hard work and salt water my throat was swollen and irritated, it really hurt. I woke up tired but I also woke up with a huge smile and with the feeling of achieving a goal, of accomplishing a desired challenge and convinced that every swim in my life means so much life.
The effort for preparing myself, to workout every single day, to organize my life between my kids, home, work, training and “Quiero Sonreir”, the cause I swim for, in which each kilometer in the water turns into surgeries for kids with cleft lip and palate, has become like a juggler’s work trying to keep several balls moving around in the air, balls of different sizes, shapes and materials… It requires concentration, work, and balance to not drop any of them. If one of them falls, all of the others fall as well. This has become my life in the last years, just like a circus with different rinks that work efficiently at the same time; the only difference is that I am the performer in every one of them… I have to find extra hours every day, in order to enlarge time and find a way to operate the mechanism that makes me work as a two teenager’s mom, a wife, a housewife, keep on with my job, train my swimming every day, and also, being a friend, daughter and sister… There have being several times when I did not find those extra hours, this made me look bad, in such occasions I felt bad, sad and anguished thinking I can´t cover everything. After a few tears, I took a deep breath and started over… I have had to fin the motivation I need to carry on with every aspect of my life.
Yesterday, when I got into the water at Battery Park, Manhattan, two tears dropped down my face, when I remembered what it meant to me to be there. When I heard the starting whistle and I started to swim I felt lucky because I was followed by an escort boat where Eduardo and Lalo, my son, were cheering me; Gela was Kayaking for me, and Andrea, my mom and my aunt will be waiting for me at the dock on my way back to Manhattan.
While I was swimming, I tried to give a special meaning to each stroke. It was an incredible swim, with a lot of current, a choppy sea, and some big waves but each stroke, one after the other led me to the other shore.
When I passed the Liberty Statue, swimming, I smiled at her… it reminded me that liberty has to be worked on each day and it requires a huge effort, hard work, knowledge and learning; I kept on swimming with this in mind and I arrived to Sandy Hook, New Jersey; 5 hours and 50 minutes after starting this swim: Ederle Swim… In honor of Gertrude Ederle and all of the women and men that with huge effort and hard work leave an indelible mark everyday in the history of their own life. My hard work in the water has left a mark that when I woke up today, even with a swollen body by such hard work, left a me smile and I am convinced that: my strokes in the water mean so much life!