Monday, August 3, 2009

Just Keep Channeling....

Right now it's getting on to supper time over in the U.K. My husband had said he was going to take a nap after this morning's attempt but I have a feeling he's been too adrenalized to do much sleeping. There have been a few emails with references to long hikes along the coastline. Dick got to swim a bit with David during the nearly four hours that it took David to go an estimated 10 kilometers (that's 6.2 miles to us Yanks), but I know all their brains are still whirling.

Copied below is Dick's first collection of thoughts on the attempt. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I did:

"What David did today was amazing and I am beyond proud of his accomplishment of swimming for nearly four hours in his channel-crossing attempt. He endured a physical challenge that most of us will never understand. This takes a very special type of motivation, one that not all of us possess. While David had some external motivators, his mom, Tami, the boat pilot, Andy, myself and even chocolate, none of these have the ability to drive someone to what David accomplished. To overcome what he endured and to keep going for the period of time he was swimming takes extreme internal motivation. Those of you who know David understand this attribute and yes it is even stronger that the promise of chocolate. The success in this crossing attempt is not in the completion but in the intended goal, process, experience and what is learned. We never really expected David to make this solo crossing but instead to swim as far as David possibly could in the conditions on that day. He did that and will take this experience with him the rest of his life.

I feel disappointed for David and Usman in that they will not get to do their Channeling Peace Initiative relay across the channel as originally planned. After what I witnessed today, I feel quite certain that they would have been successful. It would not have been easy, but they could have accomplished one of their goals in the intended endeavor.

It was not the intent of the Channeling Peace Initiative to have David attempt a solo English Channel swim. Due to some bumps along the path to the intended endeavor, when Usman’s visa request was denied, David and Usman agreed upon a backup plan. This new plan included a solo channel attempt by David and a virtual channel swim by Usman in his pool in Pakistan. We now anxiously await Usman’s swim in Lahore, Pakistan in the next few days. It is so wonderful to see the resourcefulness of these two young men when faced with a challenge over which they have no control. They have kept the real meaning behind Channeling Peace alive with their ability to adapt. And as Usman put it in the CNN article: "Even if I have to swim in a lake in Pakistan while David swims in the English Channel, it's still a powerful symbol."

"Symbols gather power not from the act itself but from the people who are supporting them," he said. "A lot of people around the world are supporting us and our message. As long as they support it in their hearts and minds, we have been successful." "


  1. I will gladly sponsor David and Usman's entry in the Horsetooth Open Water 10k swim this August 16th - I know, short timeline, but my offer stands.

    We would be proud to host these two swimmers for Peace.

  2. Thank you, TJ! I know their time then is already spoken for, but that's a really thoughtful and generous offer. Perhaps next year! (Because you know it won't be me getting in for a 10K open water swim.)

  3. Perhaps next year.

    Just tell Usman that we do not check Student VISA's...

  4. Don't worry, TJ -- we've had Usman apply for a MasterCard this time.

    sorry, just a little bad UK Border Agency "humour" for you....

  5. Just remember, they don't take American Express!


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