I had a serious moment of self doubt about my swim last week. I think it is important to show that the journey to success is not always linear.
I was sitting in my car having a self-pity party, the thoughts went something like this : "Matt... what the hell are you doing. Your friend's son dies, you quit your full time permanent teaching position that has a good stable income, pension and benefits, you decide to undertake this incredibly risky 350 km swim journey when you have only been swimming for a year, and now you are getting a honey-badger tattoo with money you don't really have(I decided against it since it would keep me out of the pool 2 weeks, it will be a reward after my big swim). This must be what mid-life crisis looks like".
"How the hell are you going to pay your bills, your mortgage, buy food.... You are acting like an idiot, what in the actual f--k are you thinking? There is no way you can complete this swim". I began spiraling downwards hard and fast. Luckily I received a phone call that immediately stopped the spiral, to me it was a moment of grace.
"Hey Matt! It's Sandy! I am so excited to meet you!" I had asked the M.S. society of Canada to put me into contact with people who have M.S. so I would have stories to keep me going when times got tough. Sandy Stretch is the M.S. society representative for Sudbury.
"I just want to let you know that you are already a success! There is no failure here. You are bringing money, hope and awareness to a good cause. I am wheelchair bound, last year for the M.S. walk I was able to take my first steps in 2 years. I just want to let you know, you can do anything you set your mind to! I believe in you!"
My heart began melting. "I told my husband, we are going to Manitoulin the day of Matt's swim and we are going to see him off. I am the one in the bright pink wheelchair, it is one of a kind!"
The doubt disappeared. I know I am on the right path. My swim is having the impact I want it to and it is still 6 month away. I can only imagine how much light it will bring to the world once it is said and done. To me, this is worth way more than money. Though I don't know how, I have faith that people will love the energy I am putting out into the world and somehow I will be able support myself. Lately, I have not been living a money driven life but a purpose driven life. Although it is really scary, I feel fully alive.
Thank you to my sponsors who are making this swim possible : Apex Warrior Active Therapy + Endurance Swimming: Open Water Training Espanola Coffee Roasters Hunu Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada VO2Peak