This afternoon Goody messaged me that he starts chemo therapy on Monday and that he wanted one last swim before then. After that starts he would probably not feel up to swimming. This would be his farewell swim for the moment.
I drove out to the marina and met him and Josh out there. My plan was to swim one lap and one lap only. I've had it with those 15+ minute swims that take more time in recovery than actually swimming. I told Goody, "I know I won't be in the water as long as you guys, so I'll hurry back and get busy snapping pictures." He responded. "Well I'll see how it goes after one lap, but I'd like to do at least two".
Shoulder felt fine and I was glad to towel off and act as photographer for the other guys. A few minutes later than finished their first lap and turned around and wen't back out! Those guys are amazing!
Then when they finished their second lap, Goody asked if he extended the third lap to a buoy that is about 50 yards out from the marina opening, if that third lap extension would total to one mile. I yelled out, "I really don't think so, but I've never measured that before." He yelled out asking me to walk along the marina wall with him. He was going for a mile. I was in awe. I snapped more pictures and kept a close eye on his stroke. It looked strong. A couple time he stopped real quick to adjust his goggles and clear the water out.
Josh was right with him on the first two, and then got out. I witnessed the second two laps from dry ground. Still shaking from my one puny "little boy lap". Dave Shearer, the Harbormaster for the marina was in his huge metal rescue boat and came in from being out on the lake. He witnessed Goody's third lap and half of his last lap, before heading to the office. Josh was at the boat ramp with some tourists who happened to come to the marina. I yelled for Josh to see if he could go get his car heated up and ready for Goody when he got out.
|At the turnaround point of that final lap!|
|In addition to my temperature read on my watch,|
here is the official temp recorded that day on the
Utah State Parks GSL Marina webpage.
|Four .25 mile laps = 1 mile|
He took a couple sips of warm water and asked for hot shower. Josh said, "Warm? I thought you were done with those?" We all laughed and eventually got him in that shower. The shower is in a little room and we helped him get seated with that warm water streaming into him. He told us his thought process. As he poured out his heart and emotions that he has been going through with his cancer, I was nearly brought to tears. I could only imagine what he has gone through and is about to go through.
After about 20 minutes in that shower, he started to celebrate and joke around and I could see his white cold feet turn red again. He was warming up and the hypothermia recovery was a success. Josh and I were so happy for him. This is the best Christmas present he could ever give himself. A major success like this to ponder on over the next several months while he fights the cancer which will take every ounce of life to beat it. I thought to myself, if he can take each treatment as well as he does each lap leading up to an ice mile, he's going to make it look easy. Although I know that it actually won't be easy and nothing I can say will make it any easier. I've never been there. I don't have a clue. I can only be there for the man.
I'm so proud of what he was able to do this evening! I can't begin to express how honored I am to know such a fighter. There are over 1800 English Channel swimmers, but only handfuls of real Ice Swimmers. He is in an extremely rare club! He challenged Josh and I to follow suit. Man! He's got the wheels turning in my head. The fear of that kind of pain exceeds any kind of pain from a marathon swim. Hypothermia is definitely something to NEVER take lightly. Physiologically, you can get to a point where you really can't be reheated, and then it's all over. Or you may get out, but the super cold blood from your extremities get to your heart and you have a heart attack. This kind of a challenge I'm going to have to train for, but I cherish my warm, hot showers too much at this point.
Goody wrote up his experience and includes what got him motivated to DO THIS!
Here's some video: