Sunday, 16 September 2007

The L.V. Interview Part 2.

The following text is the second part of the interview conducted with Loraine Verghese, I think you will agree that she has been open and forthright with her answers, some of the information has certainly helped me, I hope it does the same for some other aspirants out there...

“I think the week before my swim was surreal and many thoughts and fears seem to have been forgotten looking back but one thing stays fixed in my mind ! -THE WEATHER as this was what determined my future.
My workouts ended on the weekend before with a 2 hour swim on the Sat 18th August and Sun 19th August where I swam a relaxing two hour swim just to get the feel of the water. Mostly I had to find things to do down at DOVER… because of the postponement of the swim, which left me having to stay down at Dover for ten days and hence I had the absolute joy of making my new home at the SANDOWN guesthouse so close to the beach (Thanks to Mike Cross--conquered the channel twice - who told me all about Martin ) so friendly and understanding of Channel Swimmers needs and mood swings !!! !ha ha .
Please do check it out as a possible option both Martin and Sonia are fantastic hosts and really take care and spoil you .
So the week prior to the swim was a tense one as the weather factor left me in anticipation most days, but thanks to my mum and of course my princess Jodie I was never lacking for company. Mum -I thank you so much for helping me through this without a complaint .I had several thoughts about my feeding too and realised that once a decision was to be taken it was to made with no doubt . With a funny week and all the discussion about electrolyte (the pros and cons ) I decided to keep some on the boat but not use it unless I was in dire straits, as I did not like the taste and felt queasy when I used it. To my surprise whilst I was in Dover I came across the newly released Lucozade and loved it….hence my decision stuck - This is what I would use as the label stated it contained electrolytes and I loved the taste! By this time a week before my swim I was rearing to go and time could not pass fast enough .In hind sight one must enjoy this last high as funnily there is a low to follow after your success unless you can hold on to the fact that you have now joined an elite club of cool people.................who love swimming under pressure .”

M.R. “AND THE NIGHT BEFORE?”......................
L.V. “Gosh that was the most disastrous last night in hind sight !!!!!!!!!!! as well as the morning before my swim !!!! .I remember looking at my watch and realising it was 2200 hours and late that I needed a good sleep as I knew my sleep would be filled with a few disturbances of my tossing around and not to forget Jodie's visits to the bathroom .The last calls from friends to wish me good luck came in at 2200 and after converting MARTIN and Sonia's kitchen at SANDOWN into a workshop area with all my boxes and items that I would be taking on the boat, I felt tired and was ready for bed .
I knew that the MAXIM would need to be prepared in the morning as its potency lasts only for a maximum of 24 hours and so there was only so much I could do that night as I had all the major work in the morning. I made the 24 rolls for my beloved crew before I went to bed 2300 hours and then crawled in to bed realising I would need to be up at 6 am which left me only 7 hours but this I suppose was better than nothing until at the dot of 5 am !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was wide awake and the adrenalin was pumping .My visual planning kept going around like a stuck record in my head .................I was ready there was no doubt.
Today 26th of August was a dream finally coming true there were no ifs and buts .Failure was not an option - I rushed down to the kitchen and that's when the horror struck me I had all the MAXIM to prepare into all 40 bottles that I had to empty of water and fill with( 28scoops of maxim in 2 litres) MAXIM 250ml which I was to take on the boat, It took me and my darling mother Brigitte until 7am to do them all. I began to panic realising in just over an hour I was set to swim .I soon realised this was just my mind zoning in on the task ahead It was almost surreal .I then got calls from my faithful crew saying they had arrived. Jacks father who was instrumental behind the power that drove me arrived after a late night trek from Devon-London only to begin another journey London-Dover in the early hours of Sunday morning to show his support for me.
Although I was glad my support swimmer was already there the night before ,ready to boost my morale during my swim . .I was nervous and did not feel particularly hungry but no sooner had the first bit of toast gone down my throat I realised I was hungry and knew I would be soon crying out for food so I decided to dig in .........................Five toasts and tons of scrambled eggs prepared by the SANDOWN awesome couple (Martin and Sonia) I was soon sated and ready to rock and roll .
I then got a drop to the marina with Jodie sitting on my lap ,she was so excited for me it was such a warm feeling seeing the sparkle in her eyes filled with all the love she could show me " Mummy you are going to swim the channel today .Will it be long before I see you ?" I replied " No darling I will be home to cuddle you in your sleep " satisfied with my reply , she snuggled into my arms content with her knowledge of my whereabouts for the day..
Kindly both MARTIN and SONIA had offered to drop Mum so that she could show the magnitude of her support for me on this mission which would change me forever ..............................then time stood still and all I could see was the miles of water that separated me from France....…”

L.V. “The sun had just risen and the truth dawned on me .......... today was D day and I had a big task ahead of me .With everything packed we headed to the harbour and stashed everything aboard. On the boat Mum realised someone was missing, soon I realised it was ‘Dan’ thankfully he arrived a few minutes later. Andy was then able to set the wheels in motion and started heading towards Shakespeare Beach for lift off .
At 8.30 the fun began, the horn sounded and I dived towards France but not before I turned over to my side whilst swimming to the boat just to wave to my darling mum and awesome daughter who screamed in delight "Go mummy go."
The first three hours was a breeze, filled with fun coming in the form of funny messages on the white board. Despite having several large gulps of sea water I remained focused but soon as the saline water found its way down the intestinal tract I started to feel sick!!! The urge to throw up was the stark reality, but I held it down and changed to water feeds in order to give a chance for my kidneys to sort out this mess .The feeling soon was a distant memory.
At around 1700 hours when I was well into the North East shipping lane I stopped for a feed and then all of a sudden felt this immense sting and saw the most beautiful jelly fish but sadly IT STUNG ME!!! Ha ha and so the happiness and joy at seeing it did not last long I had to grab it with my hand and pull it off me as it seemed to latch on to my left shoulder and to my surprise a cute lil one followed in its wake bobbing away but I did manage to avoid getting stung a second time and Mum and baby continued their venture around the world. I cracked the whip from time to time encouraging myself to race the boat -I LOVED IT. Slowly as the day passed, without further incident I saw signs of sunset beginning and was pleased as I had could see that my goal was finally attainable. However with the 3.6 knot tide pulling me sideways I soon realised I was battling against the weather gods. Because still felt very strong I decided to take up the fight yet soon I was aware that despite my speed and strength I was not going anywhere, barely making any progress forward at all .
Frustration is a funny thing it can make you weak, weak enough to give up, or on the other hand it can make one stubborn!!!! Well I am glad to say it made me stubborn and more determined, that was when my skipper Andy (unsure of my mental state) asked
"Do you want a support swimmer?” Without a moments hesitation almost defiant I said "Hell NO" I was going to make it alone and hoped that Paul (my support swimmer) who was encouraging me from up on the deck throughout, would understand my defiance. Any help at this point would have been no use. It was dark, I could barely keep an eye on the boat and I was nearly there. I could almost touch the lights in the distance. So instead I just cracked on.
At 21.45 hours I landed just a bit past The Cap Gris Nez and felt the bottom! I stood up and of course funnily lost my balance, falling back into the water. But at every difficult moment I felt connected with a hidden cache of strength from deep within, along with a burning desire to succeed and these I WILL REMEMBER so in essence, Yes, I remember it ALL and feel I have learnt something new about myself ................”

“August 26th finally arrived and after a long wait because of dreadful weather I finally was given the go ahead 12 hours before the actual swim ...........Would I change anything ?Many thoughts come to my mind ................ and most of them so positive which easily outweighed the negative that I can only say No Regrets.
I never look back on the past with regret for the things that might have been,
Nor the promises made to my crew that I may have unintentionally never kept for life cannot always be perfect and our days don’t always shine bright and promises are sometimes broken
and the dreams may not turn out just right, but no time has ever been to waste for me NOT EVER and certainly NOT NOW,and I look back on my journey across the channel
with No regret but a SMILE .......... "

“Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is an opportunity, capture it.Train hard and be true to yourself there can be no cheaters cos you only cheat yourself. Enjoy your training and take help from those that want to give and also remember that your motivation is not our strength but it is our desire that moves us
Its all about your character it becomes destiny. While most are dreaming of success winners wake up and work hard to achieve it, There is no giant step that does it ,it is the little steps ( training, support , friends and crew )that keep going until you reach the shore
Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are, for what you could become.
Know that ..........what the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve and It is the size of one's will which determines success. If you are not afraid of failure. you'll seldom have to face it
Positive attitude it changes does it for me .
The power to impress - the design to conquer & the ability to command respect is the greatest gift of all and most of all.................................To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift of the honour of crossing the channel.
Thanks once again to my skipper Andy - and to the all of the crew of the LOUISE JANE ( Nicole, Dan, Terry, and Jack Browns Dad -Richard Brown )who worked in absolute harmony each linking and providing a vital detail to my success and who made my dream ..........


L.V. “Thank you Mark for giving me a chance to express my thoughts."

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