Glorious Manly Sunday morning. Light offshore breezes. Overcast at 6 AM. Giving Balmoral a miss today. Water is still cloudy and full of Gimbals. Balmoral Burn on also so it would be standing room only down there. Invited to swim to Queenscliff and back with Duncan Adams, an ex English Channel swimmer and Jimmy Arnold, another very good swimmer from the Balmoral Beach Club. I approached this exercise with some trepidation as Duncan and Jimmy could swim to Queenscliff while I was still adjusting my goggles at Manly. Joined by Jenny Hole and Alison Maunder who are training for the Catalina swim in the United States.
Excellent hit out. Down to Queenscliff without stopping, water crystal-clear – could see the bottom most of the way – and glassy. Temperature was about 19°c, cool but not yet cold. Waited a minute at Queenscliff then headed back. Was amazed at just how quickly Duncan and Jimmy can swim. They are doing exactly the same thing as me but we are in parallel universes and my universe is only spinning very slowly. Estimate about 50 minutes for the 2.7 km swim. I was not that tired when we arrived back at Manly. Most importantly, my shoulders didn’t hurt. I have three goals in my recovery program. The first was to get out of a wheelchair and walk properly. I can now do this. The second is to do the Jatubla trail hike in the Northern Territory in August with Barry Feyder. At this stage, with a torn Achilles tendon, this looks doubtful. The third goal is to swim from Palm Beach to Manly, with Barry in December. This 31 km swim was originally planned for March this year but had to be canned because of my injury. It is very important to me mentally ultimately to do this aquatic journey. Still a long way to go, but given the way my swimming is progressing, it’s a distinct possibility that I’ll be ready by December. Still six months to go.The last is to go skiing in the USA in February 2016 – a year after surgery. Who knows, but I have to keep trying. Rehab is such a difficult, lonely process that without goals I would just fall in heap and never make it.