"CUTTING WATER" = ONE swim stroke. In 1994, my life changed while cutting through the cool waters of the English Channel, a place that brings me peace. Swimming is such a wonderful, lifelong sport, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, no matter what level you may be.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
- Marcella MacDonald
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I can't believe I forgot a swim suit (& story by Chris Perez)
Got to Mansfield Community Center and realized I didn't pack a swim suit, not one extra suit lying around in the trunk, pathetic for a world class swimmer :).
So I went upstairs, and set upon a long dry land episode.
10 lb free weights for the chest and arms, 8 lb. medicine ball for the abdominals.
Here's another story from the the UCONN guys.
BY CHRIS PEREZ
Swimming for 24 hours in water that dips as low as 58 degrees seems more like an ultimate dare than an enjoyable experience. For English Channel swimmer, Marcy MacDonald, it has become a lifestyle.
MacDonald, a resident of Andover, CT., was the first American woman to cross the Channel both ways during one swim – a double cross that takes about 24 hours. She also holds the record for an American woman with 10 crosses and is only five away from setting the record for all American’s, held by Peter Jurzynski.
So when she fell off her bike two months ago and cut her shin on a metal pedal that required 40 stitches, she felt like a fish out of water.
She hasn’t been able to swim since.
“My birthday wish would be to get in the water,” said MacDonald, whose 47th birthday was on November 24.
This isn’t the first time she has had to cope with being out of the water for so long. MacDonald, who averaged 33,052 yards a week in 2009, according to her website http://cuttingwater.blogspot.com, tore her triceps muscle in 1997 while trying the double-cross for the first time. She missed three months.
The injury forced her to rethink the way she trained. Instead of going to the pool whenever she found time and taking days off at a time from swimming, she became more serious about achieving her goal of a double-cross and started practicing more consistently.
Being a self-employed podiatrist has helped her find time to practice, as well as take off weeks at a time to travel to swim. She most recently traveled to Hawaii and swam from the island of Lunai to Maui, a ten-mile journey.
The idea of a double-cross didn’t cross her mind until 1994 when she crossed the Channel for the very first time. The mother of Alison Streeter, known as “The Queen of the English Channel” because of her record 43 crossings, asked MacDonald if she would ever try the double-cross.
With the idea planted in her head, MacDonald has a goal.
In 2000, her first attempt at a double-cross since her 1997 injury, MacDonald tried again and was well on her way to completing it. She recorded her fastest time the first crossing in nine hours and 42 minutes; she had to quit on her way back though because she was too cold.
“My mind beat my body,” MacDonald said.
It wasn’t until her pilot, Mike Oram, implemented a new strategy that she finally achieved her goal. While swimming the Channel, swimmers are allowed to get out of the water for as long as they want between crossings but their time continues to run. MacDonald normally crossed one leg of the Channel and then get out for a break, but Oram decided that she should cross the Channel and turn around, heading back to her boat, take a short break, then continue her swim back to England.
With her pilot’s advice, MacDonald finished her double-cross in 21 hours and 19 minutes. Since then she has completed it once more, in 2004, when she was attempting to complete a triple-cross but got injured.
The oldest person to complete the triple-cross was in their late 20s, MacDonald said.
Today, with her injury, MacDonald has still been able to work out her upper body during the frustrating rehabilitation period. She uses a Total Gym to help her but hasn’t been able to do anything but walk with her lower body. To pass the time she catches up on TV shows like “Patty Duke” and “Mr. Ed”, but that doesn’t hide the fact that MacDonald is a swimmer at heart.
She won’t be comfortable until she’s back in the water. No matter what she does she can’t shake the way she feels when she’s “dry”.
After spending the past 20 years paddling from Dover to France, it is time to venture into new waters, while helping some special people. Soon, I will be traveling with my A-team to Scotland to swim the length of the famous Loch Ness. As always, I try to help a Foundation raise funds and awareness and I thank you for interest and support. I am deeply troubled with the thought of homeless individuals, especially in our US Veteran population.
That is why I am teaming up with our Connecticut-based “Homes for the Brave”. Can you imagine not having a place to call home?
Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.
I will always be dedicating my swimming to all those battling cancer and in the memory of 4 special people in my life. Cancer first hit my family when I was young. My grand-aunt Eleanor Kersavage, passed away with uterine cancer and my Auntie Bea Halchak battled with brain cancer.
On January 1, 2002, our LEHY family lost Nikki Giampolo to bone cancer, just turning 16 years old. Her spirit still lives on in our East Hartford swim team.
In July of 2009, my brother-in-law, Gregory Allen Urban, who passed away, after a valient battle with lung cancer. I can see him now, talking about cars and projects around the house, music and his family.
I know Aunties, Eleanor and Bea, Nikki, Greg and all the angels will help me CUT through all this water this summer.
The St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, based in Bridgeport, CT provides financial support for the needs that Health insurance companies don't cover, in addition to providing affordable cancer screening, wigs, medication and other things to make life easier for those suffering with cancer and their families.