Abby's Great Relay Fundraiser
Six hours into my English Channel swim, I told my crew I was done. My shoulder hurt. I was getting tossed around by waves in the middle of the night. I couldn’t settle into a pace and I wasn’t warm. I was ready to get out. But in those dark waters between England and France, I had a secret weapon - a solid crew who knew exactly what I needed, and wasn’t willing to let me go home with unfinished business.
My rockstar swim buddies John Hughes and John Royer each jumped in and swam with me, matching me stroke for stroke, for 60 minutes at a time, and then cheered themselves hoarse while riding the wind and waves on the boat. My unflappable crew chief Erin Dougherty threw out our carefully orchestrated swim plan and proceeded to push, cajole and bribe me to swim “just for 30 more minutes” -- 12 more times. (Those of you with toddlers will understand how exhausted she was at the end.) This unwavering support continued for a very tough 6.5 hours while I whined, complained and vociferously shared my favorite expletives loudly enough to make Captain Paul Foreman, an actual sailor, blush. Over the years, I have been through a few tough swims, but when I finally touched the rocks on Cap Gris Nez, I was keenly aware that I was only there because of the people on the boat who wouldn’t let me quit.
Having a team that won’t give up on you is the cornerstone of the Trident Swim Foundation – an amazing organization that creates swim programs, competitive swim teams and academic programs in New York City and Los Angeles. Through coaches, mentors, tutors and other community contributors, Trident provides Swimmers Scholars with the personalized crew they need to be successful, both in and out of the water. In addition to the discipline and rewards of competitive team training, students also receive college application help, SAT tutoring and a safe place to be after school. In just over a decade, Trident has helped Swimmer Scholars advance to higher education at more than two dozen four-year institutions.
Next Saturday, November 23, my Red Tide teammates and I are swimming in support of Trident in the longest pool race in the country: The 5,000 Yard Great Relay. Our goal is to raise $1 for every yard that we swim and we need your help. Your donation will help fund the basic needs of the swimmer-scholars including goggles, suits, books, enrichment trips, SAT tutors and more.
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