August 4, 2015
Yesterday I received a message from my colleague Ricardo González Dávila (Member of the Executive Committee of the Mexican Triathlon Federation). His words come at a critical moment in which my physical and mental preparation are focused on one goal: crossing the Tsugaru Strait. I will share them:
It gave me great pleasure to see you on Saturday. Thank you very much for sharing your blog. Reading it, I attributed the crisis in Gibraltar to the fact that while swimming thousands of kilometers in training and hundreds more in crossings, you’re setting your own pace—lost in your world, your thoughts, dreams and motivations, focused on your next supply and the destination, etc. I think that while swimming in a group was an excellent experience, it provided a very different stimulus—one of sharing a big stage—and that was an unfamiliar situation for you.
I agree with you that it is easier to focus on doing things alone (that’s why I prefer triathlon or swimming to football or any team game) because the person who you rely upon and who knows you best is yourself.
As for your mountain experience, I think your guide did not respect your pace, but wanted you to adapt to his.
I read that one of your main motivations for the Ocean’s Seven challenge was to get into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, but now that you’re in, it seems to have snuffed out that spark. The biological clock has advanced and your undertaking is an extremely difficult and expensive challenge, so that you face internal dialogues and questions like, Do I need it? Is it worth the suffering?
Well, I think you can find a lot of motivation in knowing that for thousands of people (more than you can imagine), you and your achievements have been inspiration, example and model over the years. All these people will be pushing you along on these challenges. So for the Japan swim, cheer up, prepare yourself and go for it. Whatever the result, if you really try, you’ll be satisfied. There are chances of not finishing it, true, but there is also the possibility that you’ll make it. What if the stars line up that day? Attempting it will leave you very satisfied.
For my part, these days I’m going to try to be the best in the world in my age group in Chicago. I have discomfort and chronic injuries, and sometimes it’s hard for me to motivate myself. However, we can set an example to so many of our compatriots who walk through life discouraged by many things in life and who give up immediately. So we can help the Mexico we love, and that motivates me.
It took us 20 years to get back to winning medals in a Pan American Games, but since we returned, we are very strong.