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Sunday, June 15, 2014
Gator Doesn't Stop Matthew Moseley From The 'Train
They pulled an alligator from the finish about an hour before I got there which explains why there were so many police and emergency personnel [at the finish].
The 25-mile swim across Lake Pontchartrain was an amazing experience all the way around. I figured on 12 hours, maybe 14 on the far side at most. I didn't expect to be out there for 15. The last two hours I had to reach deep because I was starting to deteriorate and couldn't keep up with the calories at the end.
It was very choppy from about midnight to sunrise at 6 along with strange currents that slowed me down some. At one point I felt a fairly large fish run across my belly and I practically leaped off the water.
Watching the nearly full Honey Moon make its arc across the night sky was magical. We barely needed lights [because] it was so bright. The moon set simultaneously with the rising of the sun at 5:58. Absolutely beautiful with one of the support boats decked out with a giant Merman strapped to the roof and lit up with lasers and lights. He pointed the way all night. Also legendary jazz composer and musician 84-year-old David Amram played keyboards, flute and made up original music while I swam. He played for 12-13 of the 15 hours on a 35-foot party barge through the night with 4-foot swells.
But then the sun came up and it got hot and bright. The last two hours were nothing but suffering. The training was amazing and I could feel it working in that last part. What helped a lot, however, was the meditation and mental conditioning I did this past year. I had visualized this struggle at the end and mentally prepared for it so when it was happening I didn't freak out, but I focused on my breathing and stayed in the zone. I accepted the pain and was not being done in by it. The mental piece was the most critical in the end.
I could have never done this without my coach Randy [Soler] who encouraged me to go back to those mental techniques we had practiced together. That brought it home.
Filmmaker Wayne Ewing captured the entire menagerie and event for a documentary on the recovery of the lake using the swim as the adventure.
Additional articles about Moseley's crossing include:
* Dancing With The Water By Wayne Ewing
* Matthew Moseley Makes It Across The 'Train
* Training For The Big Swim Across Lake Pontchartrain
* Preparing To Paddle Across Pontchartrain
* Go Fast To Go Far
* The Long And Short Of Training For Lake Pontchartrain
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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