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English Channel 2017

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Bob Burrow

It’s the little things…

Lately, it seemed there had been nothing truly noteworthy swimming wise aside from the day to day of training for the English Channel relay. In thinking back over the last week I realize its the positive little day to day events that make for a happy life and really make a difference.

Last weekend I swam in the 3rd Annual Jim Doty Memorial Mile swim in South Boston. Jim Doty was  a legend in the Boston open water swimming community. This year, they dedicated a clock tower at the  Curley Community Center/L Street Bath House in his honor.  Elaine Howley and Greg O’Connor are the organizers of this event and the historic Boston Light Swim.  It is a low-key well run event that goes from the L Street Bath House to basically the G Street apartments and back. This was the second time I’ve done this swim with my friends Jonathan and Katie. I got fifth overall and generally felt ok about my swim. Just getting in colder water ( 60-63degrees) is a good thing for me to do right now. Katie won the Bobby O’Sullivan Award for first place wetsuit woman. This was the second time for Katie. She is a solid openwater swimmer that swims straight as an arrow.  Everybody was happy and looking good for our requisite post event photo.

This weekend’s highlight came out of the blue for me. Elaine is doing a very long open water swim in Idaho this summer. In preparation for this event she had huge training event…to swim for 24 hours in Lake Cochituate!  Crazy! I am sure I had heard about it before but I had forgot. On Friday, evening I saw Facebook posts and pics of Elaine and her training partner Jen,  entering the water for their big swim. As I was lazily sitting in my backyard feeling guilty and drinking a glass of red wine I thought what could I do to help out? It then dawned on me…I would support Elaine by swimming with her. Knowing that it isn’t wise to drink red wine and swim I decided to surprise her early in the morning. I had another glass of red wine, ok two glasses of red wine and I set my alarm for 4:30am. I got to the lake at 5:00am as the sun was rising and as luck would have it Elaine was just pulling in for a feeding with her kayaker. She said, “what the *#?! are you doing here?”. I said, “we are going to swim together!” I think my arrival was timely as she had a long, lonely slog in the dark. At that point she had been in the water for 12 hours and had swum 30k. I had never really swum in Lake Cochituate before. It is beautiful, quiet (at least at 5:00am) and much longer than I had expected. We swam nearly 3 hours with each other for roughly 4 miles. We stopped for a feeding and I had to go home and Elaine kept soldiering on. At 5:00pm on Saturday she finished her 24 hour swim-Wow! I felt good (and sleepy) all day knowing I got to be there for a small part of her journey. 
This past week was really a reminder to stop, think and realize it’s the little day to day things that just happen and that we do that make the difference.
Travel note-today we spend the day at Good Harbor with Gram and then a side trip to Rockport. We had never been there-what a cool little seaside town. 

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