A D V E R T I S E R sales administrator CHRISTINA HYLAND has swum the Frances Thornton Galway Bay Swim on five occasions.In this article, she gives us a sense of just what a physical and mental achievement it is.I woke to a mild summer’s morning. Didn’t sleep the best with nerves andexcitement building in anticipation of the day ahead. I had a recurring dream my goggles broke on the way there, but they hadn’t. My husband sent me a photo from the docks of the sea, it was flat calm,like glass. I thought great,it will be a fast one this year. Well how wrong I was.
For months I have been in training for this swim. Out most days in all weathers. Getting into the water at Blackrock and swimming along adjacent to the prom, following the line of yellow buoys. I’d head out most days after work in the Advertiser starting off small with 2km swims out to Palmers (pierbeside the Salthill carpark) and back, building it up to 4km, then doing longer distances at the weekend, 6km to the aquarium and back twice, and finally to finish off my training, a 9km to the aquarium and back three times.
Once you do all that training you reach saturation point and can’t wait to swim the 13km across the Bay just so you don’t have to do anymore training. All I could stomach that morning was a banana and water; my dad offered me buttery toast which I nearly threw up. I did all my eating the day before and I was well fuelled up.On the way to Aughinish, I listened to High Hopes by Panic at the Disco. This is it, the day I have been waiting for, preparing for, my boat and crew are already in the water,waiting off Deer Island.The butterflies in thes tomach have started. Even though it is my fifth time doing this swim, it doesn’t get any easier, I still think what the hell am I doing. But I know I am going to do it anyway.