But the cost of these swims prevents many people from even attempting a channel swim. Sure many thousands of swimmers work, save and sacrifice to fund their own swims while their spouses and families remain extraordinarily accommodating and supportive, but there are an unspoken number of spouses and partners who do not wish their mate to spend money on a channel swim.
Imagine such a conversation behind closed doors … we did …
Swimmer [sheepishly]: I am thinking about doing something special next year…
Spouse [expectant]: Yes? Are you taking me on a vacation to Italy?
Swimmer [recoiling in defense]: Well, I was thinking more northern…
Spouse [highly expectant]: Oh my gosh, do you mean Paris?!?
Swimmer [cringing]: No…a bit further north…
Spouse [puzzled]: Scandinavia? Well, I always wanted to go to Scandinavia.
Swimmer [really puzzled]: Well, not that far north. But we’ll be together.
Spouse [smiling]: Oh, after all these years. You are so good.
Swimmer [with a pounding headache]: I was thinking about 2 weeks.
Spouse [going in for a hug]: 2 weeks?!? When?
Swimmer [sitting down]: About August.
Spouse [smiling]: Good thinking. Northern Europe will be cooler than Italy in August.
Swimmer [hands rubbing temples]: Yes, it will be cool. Might even be cold.
Spouse [laughing with joy]: Ahhh, it won’t be that cold. So where are we going?
Swimmer [holding hands with spouse]: England.
Spouse [excitedly]: London! I have always dreamed of walking around London and taking in all the sights.
Swimmer [sweating]: We’ll fly into London…
Spouse [thinking deeply]: Oh gosh, London for 2 weeks. We can do so much during that time.
Swimmer [thinking quickly]: Well, that is a lot of time, so I was thinking about going down to the coast.
Spouse [smiling]: Good idea. We can catch a train down and spend the day just taking in the ocean breeze.
Swimmer [worried]: Yes, we might catch some winds.
Spouse [excitedly]: Maybe we can spend a few days in a seaside inn? Oh, how romantic.
Swimmer [really worried]: Yes, we can just lie around and take things as it goes, resting and relaxing after the hustle and bustle of London.
Spouse [smiling]: Great idea. And then maybe we can catch that train that goes under the English Channel to France?
Swimmer [with a glimmer of hope]: Now that’s a great idea! I have always wanted to cross the English Channel.
Spouse [wondering]: How far is the English Channel?
Swimmer [sweating]: 20 miles. I have done a bunch of research on it.
Spouse [smiling]: Oh, you have been planning this for some time now, huh? What a surprise! You’re so thoughtful.
Swimmer [puzzled]: Well, yes, I have been thinking about this for a while. You know the English Channel is one of the iconic bodies of water in the world?
Spouse [not listening]: And then when we are in France, I wonder how far away Paris is?
Swimmer [sweating profusely]: Dover is a wonderful place to visit right on the British coast. Paris is pretty far away and then we would have to come back.
Spouse [planning]: We have 2 weeks. Plenty of time to do a bit of everything.
Swimmer [shaking]: Well, what if we just fly into London and then head down to the coast right away?
Spouse [puzzled]: Now that makes no sense whatsoever.
Swimmer [frowning]: Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of just spending time on the coast.
Spouse [frowning]: What, you’re no beach person?!? Last thing you do is spend time just lounging on a coastline.
Swimmer [smiling sheepishly]: Yes, I am not one to just sit down on a beach. You know I like to swim.
Spouse [smiling]: Oh, yes, as if they call what you do swimming!
Swimmer [frowning]: Well, I have joined the club and am swimming more nowadays.
Spouse [smiling]: Yes, and I have noticed you have been eating more too!
Swimmer [worried]: Eat and swim, swim and eat. Whatta life!
Spouse [coming in closer]: Maybe you’ll get that bonus this year? That will help pay for this trip.
Swimmer [really worried]: Yes, that is what I was counting on. I spoke with my boss…
Spouse [coming in for a kiss]: And? Is he going to give it to you? After all these year…you deserve it.
Swimmer [sweating again]: He spoke positively about the possibility. It could be a good amount of cash come December.
Spouse [kiss and hug]: ——
Swimmer [shaking]: I was thinking about the Channel.
Spouse [kiss and hug]: ——
Swimmer [shaking]: About swimming the Channel…
Spouse [recoiling]: What?!?
Swimmer [looking down]: I was thinking about swimming across the English Channel…
Spouse [sitting down]: —–
Swimmer [looking up]: By myself.
Spouse [looking away]: With you in the boat.
Suggest how this scenario ends…email here with your suggestions or real-life experiences.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source