For those of you who know me well and see me often, I am sure I have already talked your ears off about anything and everything Channel related, so feel free to skim this article as much of it I am sure you already know. That being said, I am sure there are a significant number of readers whom I do not get to see as often as well as a certain number who have no idea who I am at all. This post is mostly for them.
First the basics - My name is Sydney Giblin, and I am a junior studying Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at MIT. I love things that fly, the beach, chocolate, and the color green, but mostly I love trying something new and accomplishing things I never thought possible. I have loved the water for nearly as long as I can remember, and although I did not start swimming seriously until I was 13, I had been involved with the Junior Lifeguard program since I was 9 and had already competed in ocean races. Now I am a member of MIT’s Varsity Swim Team, certainly not something my younger self would have predicted. Similarly, when crossing the Channel first entered my mind as a fleeting thought it was nothing more than fantasy, nothing I took seriously. But when I arrived at MIT for my freshman year I met another student, Clara Bennett, who had just completed a successful crossing the previous summer. I was in awe. I thought feats like that were for strangers, not people I actually knew. So when my team mate Qing expressed interest in swimming the Channel as well, it seemed only natural that we team up and train together.
And now here I am, signed up for what I am sure will be the most difficult challenge I have ever faced. 22 miles in 60 degree water, a challenge of endurance, mental toughness, and self-control. There is plenty of training yet to come, should be exciting and painful but all super rewarding. 383 days to go!