Several people have contacted me this week worried that I am disappointed that my crew and I were not able to head out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca for my double crossing attempt on August 1st. Although everyone is happy about the decision to stand down, and know it was the right thing to do, there is still concern for the impact the decision had on me.
To my community, thank you. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. I feel your disappointment and am touched by your compassion. As an ultra-marathon swimmer I have learned to live with the golden rule of safety first. I am grateful to both Gordon Higgins and MJ VanBergen for their expertise and placing my safety and that of the crew above all. My daily visits to the Ogden Point this week with Ray have shown me the power of Mother Nature and her firm declaration that it is not the right time.
As a person living with Multiple Sclerosis, I have learned to change my course on a dime. The unpredictability of my disease can be somewhat like the winds that blow through the Strait. There are days where the force that lives inside of me is so strong that I can not do what I set out to do. There are other days where my MS lay dormant allowing me to live freely.
On those days where I am not able to move freely I have learned to be patient, to spend time doing the things that I can and to spend time feeling gratitude for what I have. So today I would like to share with you my gratitude list.
I am grateful:
- to my partner Ray who is with me every day working through the challenges I face as a swimmer and person living with MS
- to my family in Montreal, who raised me to be both compassionate and resilient
- to my incredible swim crew who keeps me safe from harm and takes time from their busy lives to join me on these journeys
- to my MS community for showing me what true strength is
- to my Special Olympic Swim Squad for teaching me what is truly important in life – and that is each other
- to the Mrs. Arnott’s and the Grade 3 class at Sangster Elementary School for teaching me about the waterway and instilling the message of safety first in my swim
- to the Triumph Social and the media for kindly sharing my story with others
- to my swim community, in the pool, lakes and ocean, for encouraging and supporting me as we swim along side one another
- to my co-workers who have fully embraced what I am doing!
- to my sister swimmers around the world for showing me just how strong girls and women can be
- to all who have reached out and wished me well with the swim and my mission to help others with MS
And a special thank you to:
- Marilyn Bell for reaching out to me last year before my swim, and remaining in contact with me since. You are truly an inspiration and you bring light to my life. I am looking forward to hearing your words of encouragement during the double crossing.
- And to all who have donated to the MS Swim Program we will be starting in the fall. It is through the kind donations of others that we are able to provide the services that people living with MS need. You are helping make their and my life better.
For those who have not yet had an opportunity to donate but would like to, Mother Nature is working in your favour! She has asked me not to enter the water until August 18th.