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A Dream Deferred and New Light: Torch Lake: August 4th-6th 2021

It’s been a whirlwind of a week at the Great Diabetes Swim HQ. My boat captain unfortunately had to drop out late last week. My crew has gone beyond, putting in countless hours trying to find a replacement. My family and many of you also pitched in to try to find a replacement and I am so grateful for your help. In the end, we were unable to find the right vessel and captain to meet our very demanding and difficult need of trekking 108-miles across Lake Michigan at 1.5 - 2mph. I hope I get another opportunity to attempt this in the future, but unfortunately, 2021 is not the year.

Some of you have asked how I am doing. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I have been planning this swim for over six years. I would talk to my husband about this swim when I was too sick to move, let alone capable of swimming (you can read more about that here). Simply the idea of swimming to Grand Haven has been a huge motivator that keeps me going when I don’t think I can. This year, I pushed myself as hard as I could in training, always with the mindset of: Make it to Grand Haven. But this is the sport of open water swimming. The only thing that is guaranteed is nothing is guaranteed: the weather may not cooperate, the water may becomes too fierce, or you lose your resources suddenly (I’m not the first to lose a captain in the final weeks). So I knew seeing everything evaporate was always a possibility, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier to actually experience it happen.

But this isn’t the end of my 2021 swimming story. My crew has come around me and lifted me up in ways that I couldn’t imagine. Introducing:

Torch Lake: August 4th – 6th

On August 4th (in two days!), I will attempt to swim across Torch Lake 6 times, totaling over 100 miles. The distance will be roughly the same as the Chicago to Grand Haven route, but a very different swim in very different water. Torch Lake sits alongside Grand Traverse Bay and has been called “The Caribbean of the North” due to its spectacular blue water.

Torch Lake is 17.8 miles long. Goal: Cross it 6 times.

I anticipate the swim to take roughly 60 hours. Because I will be swimming lengths back and forth, it is considered a segmented swim. In order to adhere to the Marathon Swimming Federation rules, at each end of Torch Lake, I will clear the water, turn around, re-enter the water, and swim to the other side.

You will be able to follow me on a tracker here.

While I am still severely disappointed in switching to this plan, for a Plan B it's pretty darn great. My training is there and now I'm focused on getting my head right. And I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do! But I also need your help! Please share this with your friends and family. The best outcome for me is if 60 hours in the water means 60 hours of people learning more about type 1 diabetes and supporting the Chicago Diabetes Project. Let's get this!

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