Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ready or Not, Here It Comes

Nerves. I have never had them like now. Actually, I feel several things, and I feel them more than I ever have. I'm not complaining. It's good to feel. The opposite of feeling is apathy or death. Neither of those has much appeal to me. What I am feeling is excitement mingled with nervousness and stirred up with a dash of fear. Fear you ask? Yes, fear.

Having confessed this to several people already, my cup runneth over with simple platitudes: "You will be fine," is the most common one. I do appreciate the effort, but those just aren't doing me any good. And since I already decided feeling is a good thing, I don't really want relief. I want to feel right up until the start of the swim.

I guess one reason for the fear is the unusual circumstances of this year's Challenge. By unusual, I mean the delay. But having come to the position that the delay was providential, why should it cause me to be nervous of my fitness? Faith tells me that it will all workout better and that my taper/long swim/taper will leave me more fit than ever. But never having done it this way leaves room for questioning, for doubt. I choose faith, but doubt lingers at the door, pushes at the door, threatens to kick the door down.

Another reason for the fear is the number of eyes that will be upon me. The Greenwood Commonwealth is doing a story that should run in today's paper. And through the Facebook Event Page, a lot more people know about this year's Challenge. Not only that, but I sent Woodrow Wilson of WXVT a Facebook message. He wrote back instantly that they would be there. From that I presumed the DFM had already contacted them and they would show up to shoot some footage. 

The attention is good for several reasons. One reason for the swim is to raise awareness of diabetes, its risk factors, how it may be prevented, and to raise funds for the DFM. The attention also holds me accountable, accountable for my training and my performance on swim day. Furthermore, the attention should help me in the later parts of the swim when I am really tired and possibly tempted to quit.

Sorry about the belly.
The negative aspects of the attention is the pressure it brings. If I fail, I do so in front of a lot of people. Without the possibility of failure, however, there would be no real challenge and this thing is called the Chicot Challenge for a reason. It was/is designed to challenge me, and I hope simultaneously challenge and inspire others to be more physically active.

All that aside, I thought of that little ditty we used to yell out when we played on the schoolyard and in our neighborhoods: "Ready or not, here I come." That is also true of this swim. The training is done; yesterday I washed the kayak and parked it in the driveway to make it easier to hook up to Friday; I have begun to pack, to get my gear together, to make a list and check it twice; I have been gathering names, names I will have written on my body as I swim, names I will call before God and ask Him to help. If you have names of diabetics, people you know, love, send them to me, and I will carry them with me on this swim.

To make a short story long, judgment day is here and once more this swim is a short drama of a long life. We live and strive and pray and experience and then we stand before God and answer for it all. Saturday I answer for my training, planning, diet and performance. I fear that; I love that; I want that; I want to flee from that. Ready or not here it comes.