I am changing my name to Jessican.

During treatment I enthusiastically signed up for a swim holiday in October. Reading the fine print after, I realised that I’ll be swimming 25km in that week and, as a minimum, I should be able to swim 2.2km in an hour before I go. Pre-surgery this would not have been an issue, but now, now I am stiff, weak, unfit, plagued by fatigue.

Or I was.

Today I swam 2.2km without stopping and filled my goggles with tears of pride.

I am so proud of myself. Not only that I swam the distance, but that I keep getting up and trying, that I keep pushing myself even when I just want to hide in bed. And that I’m succeeding.

It’s been five months since my mastectomy and I finished radiotherapy two months ago. Six weeks ago I swam for the first time and it was excruciating. And today I swam 2.2 kilometres!

I’ve always considered swimming as meditation for me. I chase the black line with eyes half closed, breath steady and a clear mind. Some days it takes time to get there. I spent the first kilometre today calculating speed and distance, a joy in itself for me, stretching my brain as well as my lungs and limbs. But I was distracted by everything and my mind would not be calmed. Half way in, I found my groove and settled into a rhythm. At 1700 metres I was feeling smug as that had been my original goal for the day, I snuck a look at the clock and realised with surprise that I had a chance to achieve the hour target. The competitor in me surfaced and I focussed on my technique and stroke speed, something I had disregarded previously while aiming for distance. I pushed it for the last 500 metres and completed my 2.2km in one hour and two minutes.

I cried and laughed and ached at the end of the pool. I am still smiling.

My arms are throbbing but I walked out of that pool straighter and more confident than I’ve been in months.

Distance swum since last post: 5.0km
Distance swum to date: 11.9km
Distance to go: 188.1km

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