Monday, June 26, 2017

26Jun17 - Anne Cleveland Memorial Swim

I learned Sunday morning that Anne Cleveland had passed away from cancer.  I was pretty upset about this bad news.  Although I had only met her once in person, she had a big impact on my life.  When I was pulled from the water from my Catalina attempt and was officially marked DNF, I was emotionally destroyed.  I went into a clinical depression that lasted several weeks.  I did not eat much, had no interest in swimming anymore, slept poorly, and cried uncontrollably at random times with no warning.  After about 3 weeks of this, I believe I was talking to Lynn Kubasek about what I was going through.  She was my observer and was the one who officially pulled me.  (Just to be clear, she did the right thing...I was a mess and it was no longer safe for me to be swimming.)  She told me to contact Anne and gave me her contact info.  I talked to her and she understood what I was going through.  She had a devastating DNF under her belt too.  After about an hour of conversation and pouring my heart out to her, she said the one thing that made the difference.  She said that a DNF like that after a year of training is similar to having a family member die.  That clicked for me immediately.  She advised that instead of trying to get through it and focus on the next goal, I should stop everything and actually mourn this defeat.  Let all my emotions out and really focus on the stages of depression and getting through them in a healthy way.
I took her advice and I soon recovered and found my love of swimming again.  It was talking to her, someone who actually knew what I was going through, that was able to give me the help I needed to see the sunlight again.
Not too long later, I was able to meet her at the International Open Water Swim Awards.  I thanked her for the advice and told her how much our conversation meant to me.  If she had not helped me during that time, I can not say for certain that I would still be swimming today.
Anne, me and Mallory Renae

I met with Lisa at 0500 at JN.  It was a beautiful morning and I told Lisa about Anne and all she did to help me and others.  I said I only wanted to do 2 miles today.  I got an ear infection last week and had to get medicine for it and was told I was not allowed to swim.  As we started, I stopped for a minute and pointed up at the sky, "This swim is for you Anne"!
Lisa and I stayed inside the buoy line and did the full route.  We finished and we were just under 2 miles.  I felt AMAZING.  I was full of energy after the first mile and dare I say it, I was not far behind Lisa.  I couldn't keep up with her but I was a whole lot closer than usual.  I said I feel too good to stop.  We headed straight south to the dam to add on another mile.
We finished at exactly 3 miles.  I made sure to dry my ear out very well after taking out the plugs.  I really hope my ear doesn't hurt tonight.  If it does, it means I have to see an ENT Dr. and it might be the end of my training for awhile and thus I'll probably have to scrap my Utah Triple Crown in 24 hours for this year.  (Fingers crossed!!!)
Another perfect day
I did think of Anne a few times as I was swimming but not enough to get me to start crying again like I did a bunch yesterday.  Thanks Anne for all you did for me and all you achieved in life that were an inspiration to so many others.

Water temp was 68.  PERFECT!

3 miles OW

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