I had been looking forward to it. I had the onset of lastminute nerves as I carbed up at breakfast. I checked my registration information before setting off, leaving plenty of time for the 11.00h start time. It wasn't to be - the organisers of the Big Swim decided to change the start times accommodating for the different events that were being held at the Vachery Triathlon Festival. As I queued in the registration tent, my heart sank on catching sight of the whiteboard displaying the unwelcome information. The water temperature at 20.2° concerned me not in the least. The start times for those entering the 1500m and 3k swims did. My wave had started an hour earlier than the published start time.
"If we will be quiet and ready enough,
we shall find compensation in every disappointment."
Henry David Thoreau
I don't do disappointment terribly well. I particularly don't do unforeseen and non negotiable changes of plan in the middle of a Bank Holiday weekend very well. I crashed. Having sought an energy spike to combine with the nervous energy that inevitably hits on getting into the cold water, I hit a wall of lethargy as my spirits plummeted. My wetsuit never made it out of the back of the car.
My remedy for this particular disappointment were to get onto my bike and push myself hard this afternoon. Whilst not the day I had envisaged it was still a good one. The ride more than made up for being stranded on dry land, looking longingly at fellow open water swimmers from the edge of the big lake not destined to make it across the pontoon that had been specially imported from the Olympics. A good reminder that we can't know what lies ahead. Flexibility and resourcefulness are sometimes more useful than careful planning and punctuality. As the season draws to a close, I am looking for my next big challenge.
"Life is like photography. We develop from the negatives."