Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day, a day of 5's (& story Colin McDonough)

Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, a day to remember the bombing of the Hawaiian harbor, the loss of life and the launch of America into World War II. A day so many Americans from that era, can remember exactly where they were when they heard the horrific news.

Today I honor those lives loss, and the celebration of my friend, Debra Tranberg, who is 55 today, such a fun #.


Fun with Fives
Fulcrum: 550 (modified catch-up)
Swim: 20 x 50 (:45) 
Buoy: 550 ( ***alternate breathing pattern per 50, 3.4.5.6.7.8.7.6....)
Swim 15 x 50 (:45)
Tube: 550 ***
Swim: 20 x 50 (:45)
Big Paddle: 550 (catch up drill every 5th length)

Fun w/ Fins: 55 x 25 IM order (4 swim / 4 kick...)
Easy 75
= 6500
Dream, Prepare, Succeed

BY COLIN MCDONOUGH

Marcella MacDonald’s wish for her 47th birthday was simple:

 “My birthday wish is that I could just get into the pool,” MacDonald said.
“If I could just swim for 45 seconds.”

After injuring herself riding a bike in Hawaii in September, MacDonald has been unable
to swim and has resorted to lifting weights.

“My foot slipped and my shin got ripped open by the pedal,” MacDonald said.

To pass time, she’s been going back to her roots, and watching television classics such as “Mr. Ed.” Those roots are in Connecticut. MacDonald grew up in
Manchester, Conn. and swam in high school on a recreation club team.

“I was a decent swimmer but I didn’t have that X factor that I wanted to go out and kill somebody in the 50 meters,” MacDonald said. “My coach recognized that I was a pretty good long distance swimmer and I didn’t mind it.”

She played softball in college at American International but would sneak into the Springfield College pool to swim. After college, MacDonald’s hobby of swimming became a passion and she began to swim competitively again.

In 1994 MacDonald swam 28.5 miles around Manhattan, but she admits, that the water was dirty and she could barely see her hand in it. In 1994 she became the first Connecticut woman to swim the English Channel. It earned her a story in the Hartford Courant and a spot in Sport Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.” Frieda Streeter, a mentor to MacDonald, encouraged her to try to swim to France and back.

“I had no idea what a double was,” MacDonald said. “She said no American woman had done it yet. She planted a seed in my brain and it became a very strong passion for seven years before I completed it.”

In 2000, MacDonald had seven hours to go, but failed to complete it. She touched the boat, which means the attempt to swim the channel is over, but was determined to do it the next year. In 2001, MacDonald completed the double in 21 hours and 19 minutes.

“I was just really glad it was over with,” MacDonald said. “I was freezing.”

She said she tries not to think about time and distance anymore, and counts her strokes to complete long swims.

“Nobody says anything about time or distance,” MacDonald said. “I’m just a fish in the water.”

While on English Channel swims MacDonald’s crew follows her, but MacDonald is not allowed to touch the boat or the swim is over.

“They’re in charge of keeping me alive and guiding me,” MacDonald said.
“I’m just the swimmer.”

Although MacDonald was injured riding a bike, she said she tries not to think of the sea creatures that can harm her in open water.

“I’m a big fish, so it’s got to be a bigger fish to hurt me,” MacDonald said. “Anytime you’re in warm water you have to worry about sharks. I do better in cold water.”

Swimming is her life’s passion, but her career is being a private Podiatrist in Manchester where she was raised. The foot doctor said her schedule allows her to train everyday and go to England to swim.

“I’m a podiatrist,” MacDonald said. “Without that I couldn’t do the things
I enjoy. I’m a sole practitioner so I can plan on taking time off.”

“I look back now and I should’ve done the triple that day,” MacDonald said. “That was the day to do it.”

Although MacDonald’s goal is to complete a triple eventually, she will also try to set the American record for crossings of the English Channel.
She already set the American women’s record with ten crossings and is five crosses away from breaking Peter Jarzynski’s record of 14.

That is her goal, but first she needs to get back into the swimming pool first.

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Swimming for Homes for the Brave

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?

Here is more information about Homes for the Brave! -Facebook pages – https://www.facebook.com/pages/ABRIHomes-for-the-Brave/199613606735630?ref=hl

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs- http://www.homesforthebrave.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HFTB-2014-Annual-Report-FINAL.pdf

-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

- Donations can be made online as well: https://homesforthebrave.isecuresites.com/products/index.php?type=1110

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.

Please make a donation, and thank you.

Online donations can be made at: http://give.stvincents.org

or you can send a check through the post to:

Swim Across the Sound
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606
(203)576-5451

Thank you so very much, peace and good health to all.