Thursday, July 23, 2009

From Bergen, Norway

I have made it to Bergen and the family should be here in about an hour. It is beautiful here, and I have barely left th airport. Very northwoodsy. Typing on my phone is slow so I'll just say that I think I really do look like the people here.

And I should also say that my recovery from ny seven hour/six hour back to back days went well - except for my mouth! The salt water killed my tongue and eating was painful for three days. Thank goodness for ibuprofen!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Report from Dover

Greetings from Dover, England. I am here for a week of training, and it has gone very well. I swam seven hours in the harbor on Saturday, and then six hours on Sunday. This was very close to Channel conditions, probably a bit rougher actually, so it was excellent training.

There is an amazing group of people who train here each weekend, with Freda Streeter as the de facto coach of them all. Freda is the mother of Alison Streeter, the Queen of the Channel. Alison has swum the Channel 43 times, so her mom knows quite a bit about what makes for adequate training. The 7 hour/6 hour combo I just did is the maximum distance they go here in training, and I finished without too much trouble, so I feel good about my training with seven weeks to go - although, trust me, I'm not getting overly confident! They say the physical training is about 20% of the task, and the other 80% is in your mind. I did have a pretty sore right tricep, but I think that was from the need to lift my head up to see where I was going frequently - which is something I will not have to in the Channel, when you just site off the boat to your side while breathing. The water temp was not bad at all, so my acclimation has really worked well. Thank goodness for my backyard pool!

Other than swimming I haven't done much other than spend one day in London, where the highlight was seeing the new Harry Potter movie in the same theatre - although 10 days later - as Daniel Radcliffe (Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were across the way, as the world premier was on two screens to make more room).

I probably won't get a chance to write again before I leave Dover (and meet the family in Norway), so "cheers!"

Oh, and if you have donated yet to build the school in Angola, go to and take care of that!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seven hours for my seven pounds (and the rest of me)

Oh, yeah. Seven hours a few days ago in my backyard pool. Woo...that was fun. Actually, it was good training, but the water was balmy, at 69.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sabbatical Begins

The sabbatical has begun. Thanks to a wonderful (and wise) provision of my work at church, and an unbelievable grant from the Lilly Foundation, I have now begun my sabbatical. I don't go back to work until October 27. I know, it's not fair. Everybody should have a sabbatical, I agree! I promise to use mine wisely, for real renewal to help me serve the church faithfully and passionately in the future.

Anyway, back to more mundane matters - Yesterday was a fabulous training swim: 7 hours tethered to the side of my backyard pool. I say "fabulous" because it was a good challenge mentally to swim through the darkness (I started at 3:00 a.m.), the monotony, and the sensory deprivation. To add to the fun, my stomach didn't feel right for a couple of hours. So, naturally, I loved it. Great training! The only problem was that the water wasn't cold enough: a balmy 68. Oh well.