It was a cold January winter day when I stood on the platform at Cap Gris Nez and tried to look for the other side of the Channel.
The blue amazed me, this icy, blue sky was merging with the blue water. There were no white cliffs I could witness on the horizon, only my thoughts if I will ever swim there and end up where I was standing right now.
A dream went out over the Channel, my birthday wish.
It was spring when we got into lockdown and I had to stop my training, but I never gave up on my dream. I drove in my car to every swimmable lake that was reachable in a 40 minutes drive.
My first swim was in a private lake in the beginning of April, on still cold but sunny day.
I managed to sneak into this area to get access to this wonderful quiet place. The water temperature was still in the single digits but I enjoyed every minute in the water and got hope that I will find a way to my dream.
We pitched our tent by the lake and planned my 6 hours assessment swim for the next day in 15C cold water.
When I entered the water at 4 a.m. on an early summer morning, it was still dark but you could already sense the silver lining.
I was so excited: ‚Can I do this, will I succeed in these strange times without training going to plan, without having had enough time in the water?‘
When I left the lake 6 hours later, I was grateful for my team and for nature. I knew that I can make my dream come true because I am blessed with all that I have by my side.
I’ll never forget that night in September, when I stood on the beach of Semphire Hoe and felt the pebbles under my feet. There was only a small light beam from the boat that had guided me to the starting point of my swim. My knees were shaking when I got into the water on a pitch black night, with the White Cliffs of Dover behind me I swam into my dream.