Check out my teammate, fellow open water marathon swimmer, and “lil sis” Abby’s blog!
One of the main reasons I was attracted to Seven Sisters colleges and Smith College in particular is the deep history and legacies, both in academics and swimming, attached to these schools. Between 1984 and 2014 seven Seven Sisters women successfully swam the English Channel, a swim that traditionally has a 1 in 10 success rate. Ever since middle school, this has been a swim that has interested me and when I heard about Paige Christie‘s crossing the summer before I started at Smith, I couldn’t help but get excited. Following Paige’s little dot as she plowed across the Channel helped me feel as if I was already part of the Smith team. Seeing Paige’s success helped me decide to pursue my own channel dreams; I will be swimming the Catalina Channel in July, 2016 and the English Channel July, 2017. As I prepare for my July 25th Catalina crossing…
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One month. Get ready. Longest marathon swim in the world. I’m going the distance.
The Smith College Athletic Facilities got cosmetic updates!
One of the updates is a historical timeline of Smith women accomplishing some massive athletic feats. Some of these accomplishments include: Senda Berenson Abbott of Smith’s athletics department introducing basketball for women (and Smith students being the first college women to play the game) in 1892, Victoria Murden ’85 becoming the first woman to cross-country ski to the South Pole in 1989, and Smith Basketball winning their first ever ECAC title in 2012.
Since the English Channel swim (with a 1 in 10 success rate) has had quite a remarkable (and quite frankly, unheard of) 100% success rate under the guidance of Coach Kim Bierwert… all of my Channel mothers and I got a spot on the timeline!
To be honest, this is very surreal. To be able to continue the legacy was always my end goal. No doubt, there was a bit of self-inflicted pressure being the 6th person going into a swim knowing there is a 100% success rate before me. But we all did it. To know that we are all in the history books, and that nobody or no result can ever replace or take this away from us will always give me the chills.
Start unknown, finish historic.
Thanks to my friends at FINIS, I am the proud owner of a FINIS DUO! Unlike other swimp3s which sit in the ear socket, the DUO sits on your temples….therefore, you don’t have to worry about water getting trapped in your ear socket! The sound quality is amazing. It’s a very unique experience. Per usual, I wouldn’t recommend it if it wasn’t something I loved. Since you have to get used to being in your own head during marathon swims, I only train with this on special occasions.
This is what I’m jamming to (courtesy of FINIS DUO)! These songs always bring up memories. There is no genre off-limits. (Always get the clean version of these!!!!)
- Hypnotize– The Notorious B.I.G. (this beat is unlike any other, I always start my workouts to this song)
- Mr. Brownstone-Guns N’ Roses (a song I loved since as early as I can remember… only realizing what it meant a few years ago…)
- Long Way 2 Go – Cassie (I love the sass in the lyrics)
- Calm Down– G-Easy
- Country Boy– Aaron Lewis (the biggest things in life are your friends and family)
- Sacrifice– Theory of a Deadman
- Nobody Does it Better– Nate Dogg
- Rump Shaker– Wreckx-N-Effect
- Dirt Road Anthem– Jason Aldean (this was on repeat driving out to Smith my first year)
- Golden– Jill Scott
- Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison
- Ladies and Gentlemen– Saliva
- Undercover– Lane 8 (Radio Edit)
- I Meant It– G-Easy
- Lookin’ for a Good Time– Lady Antebellum
- She Wants to Know – Half Moon Run
- Who Gon Stop Me– Jay Z, Kanye
- Bound 2– Kanye West (Always reminds me of my ‘14 bananas)
- Someone New– Hozier
- Fast Cars and Freedom– Rascal Flatts
- You’re Not My Girl– Ryan Leslie
- Ready to Run– Dixie Chicks (What’s all this talk about love?!)
- Paradise City– Guns N’ Roses
- Ride– Ciara
- Ain’t Nobody– Chaka Khan (Chaka slays)
- My Life Your Entertainment– T.I.
- I Wont Back Down – Tom Petty
- God’s Gunna Cut you Down– Johnny Cash
- The Promise Land – Bruce Springsteen (fist pump is necessary when listening to the chorus)
- Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue– Toby Keith
- Runaway Love– Purity Ring
- Drive– Halsey
- Rhiannon– Fleetwood Mack (Charlotte Samuels’ Bight Swim anthem)
- Going the Distance– CAKE (fitting)
- Talk that Talk– Rihanna (if this song doesn’t make you want to dance…)
- Summertime– Kenny Chesney
- What Was I Thinking– Dierks Bentley (appropriate question especially when you’ve been swimming for hours)
Ever wonder how marathon swimming is different from pool swimming? Check this article out!
I was recently featured in an article in Swimming World written by my teammate/great friend/lil sis/ future Catalina Channel swim finisher, Abby Bergman! I am quoted alongside the hugely inspirational marathon swimming pioneer, Lynne Cox (Swimming to Antarctica) and one of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Coach, Dave Kelsheime!
I’m a firm believer in expressing gratitude for the individuals, places and events that have been meaningful to me.
Life’s short…nobody knows what the future holds. If someone is important to you, tell them. If they’ve helped you in some way, let them know. If there is something you admire about them, make their day and say what that is.
I wanted to highlight a few people who have always stepped up to the plate since day 1 (and especially recently), and deserve a lifetime of thanks from me.
Family is incredibly important to me. As my Papou once said, “If you are a tree, family are your roots. These roots help you stay strong in any storm, or stand tall on a nice day.” To me, family isn’t always blood. Family are the people who are part of the process no matter what the outcome…make your happiness their happiness, and the people in life who want you in theirs.
The love and support of my Mom, Dad, and older brother Cam, is indescribable. Not only are they a huge source of inspiration to me, but they are also the world’s best mentors. If any of us say we want to do something, be something, achieve something, we all do what we can to support that dream….while simultaneously keeping each other loyal to the goal we proclaim.
My best friend Kyle, who has been my rock, reality check, and favorite person to talk to about literally everything…. You are such an irreplaceable person in my life and an incredibly loyal friend. You don’t find people like that that very often, if ever. I admire your realness, confidence, and ability to see all sides of a situation.
My incredible sponsors: GRRRL Clothing, BRL Sports, Vermont Peanut Butter and VOmax. I have been absolutely blown away by your generosity and enthusiasm. Having the backing from companies who are eager, interested and excited about what I am working to accomplish… as well as passionate about getting to know me on a personal level and supporting my career aspirations has exceeded any expectation I ever had about the athlete-sponsor relationship. I truly believe in your amazing missions and products and am so grateful to be a part.
To everyone deserving but not listed here, thank you!