Tuesday August 10th

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Before the swim

Jim Rankin Photo

This day could not be a better one.

Everything went extremely well and that was a good sign in itself.

Almost everything was ready since the night before when Katie Shirley and I went to buy last minute stuff needed and went to bet around midnight.

Woke up at 6:30 a.m. got a shower (still a cold one) and once San and Katie were ready we drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake. We arrived there around 10:00 a.m. parked and walked looking for a B&B to stay and rest. We found this beautiful house: Davy house were the owners Jeff and Flo were extremely friendly and nice to let us stay just for a few hours and help us with our nutrition needs for the day.

Once the arrangements were in place then we walked for about an hour, had lunch walk again, had ice cream, and went back finally to the Davy house.

I tried to sleep but was very difficult to do. So I wrote, and walked and went to the washroom alternating those over and over. I was nervous but also confident.

At 6 p.m. San and Katie left to meet the other crew members at the sailing club, and I stayed alone.

I used this time to be with myself, my thoughts my fears, and my emotions.

I cried, I prayed, I talked to myself, listen to a message that my very good friend Paco Reyes left on my phone (Paco you have no idea how many times your last words were in my head while I was swimming) and talked to Enrique in England. Probably this two last friends words were key to help me deal with the mental battle I was about have a few hours later.

Lastly, went on my knees, closed my eyes and focus on me entering the water, starting the swim and finishing at Marilyn Bell park.

When I felt ready I said good bye to the house owners, Flo was there wished me luck and said that Canada needs more people like me… I do not know about that but made me feel very special.

I walked to the sailing club to meet the crew. Still deep in my thoughts and feeling already my fragility asking mother nature to please be as nice as has been all day, warm, no wind and extremely beautiful.

Everyone was smiling when I got to the place where the crew was getting ready. There was a lot of excitement. Kendra (my coach) ran and gave a card that I read and couldn't stop crying while reading. I noticed that Jim Rankin saw me and didn't let the emotion pass and shot several pictures of me crying.

Alan the swim Master started the pre-swim meeting and  address to all members several safety points and rules. After that I just told them what I felt:

Miguel is not going to cross the lake. WE were about to do it. Every single one of the crew members has done to that point an amazing job and it was time to enjoy the moment. I still and again thank them for all what they did. Without a team like them nothing could happen.

So Katie, Kendra, Shirley, Alan, Kristen, Jay, Jim, Barrie, Santiago, Thomas, Kathleen, Don, John, Arlene, Sue, Ted, Trevor, Melanie, Clive, John, Kevin … THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

After the brief meeting everyone did what they needed to do and I did my part. I grabbed my bag full of  stuff and walked with Jim and San from the sailing club to Queen's Royal park where I supposed to start.

Barrie Shepley and his amazing talent behind the microphone was there explaining what was all about and letting people in the park know what was about to happen. Katie and San helped me to put all the vaseline, zinc, lanolin and glow sticks. I talked to Kendra briefly and Barrie asked me to talk on the mic.

The most important part of all is that everything is being done to raise funds for the Jumpstart foundation. The most important part is that people should not drown.

The most important part is that we always can do something to help.

I always wanted to know if I could do something like this. There is no other way to find out than trying and with the attempt we already helped many children to have the life insurance of knowing how to swim.

Even before I got the water, WE were already successful.

 

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