Have you ever considered swimming across the Northumberland Strait? Most haven’t. But for those who have there is the BIG SWIM, your chance to do something truly epic. The BIG SWIM is a supported event held in August each year that combines an epic feat of endurance with the opportunity to raise funds for an awesome charity. The BIG SWIM is not a race and supports swimmers of all abilities to get out into the Northumberland Strait and achieve the unimaginable.” The Big Swim
Stephen Boyd is taking on the challenge of the Big Swim to be held August 18, 2019. In the coming months, Stephen will be focused on training for this “epic” swim. CEGE Connection is pleased to advise that we will be covering this event over the months, following Stephen on his journey. This is the first in the series of The Big Swim – A Give to Live Project.
Stephen J. Boyd (Class of 2018):
Life has so many wonderful opportunities to offer
As mentioned in a previous post, I am recovering from an injury that will prevent me from competing this summer in my first 100-mile ultramarathon. During my period of self-pity, Sarah (my best support and spouse), suggested I consider the BIG SWIM event, where athletes of all abilities swim from New Brunswick to Prince-Edward-Island. For normal people who cross the Northumberland Strait by bridge or ferry, the distance is roughly 13 Kms. Due to currents, and other unknowns, I am told that the average swimmer will cover 15+ Kms.
The Big Swim – Give to Live gives participants the opportunity to accomplish a feat that few have, while raising funds for a charity that supports children. It is a great opportunity to give back to my community. Without any hesitation, or putting any thought into logistics, I registered the moment the portal opened.
For the last month or so, I have been swimming at Dalhousie’s recreation and athletic center, where I log miles in the pool. Since there are not too many of us who show up for 5:45 am (other than the varsity teams), I have had the opportunity to speak with one of the “regulars”. One on occasion, he asked me if I was training for anything in particular; I went on to explain that I was intending on swimming across the Northumberland Strait. As is the case with most people, his question to me was: “why?”
My immediate response was: “why not?” I further elaborated on the importance of my two kids embracing that life is about going beyond the ordinary, and welcoming the unknown.
Recently, during an exchange of correspondence, Rebecca Budd (CEGE Editor) reminded me that on occasion we have re-evaluate our priorities, and that success in life goes further beyond our careers. Don’t misunderstand me; I appreciate my professional career, but it is only a small part of who I am. Later in the spring, Sarah will be competing with her synchronized swimming team in Quebec City. Despite working full-time and being an exemplary mother of two, she has the tenacity to train hard during the week; that is success I admire.
Some years ago, I had the opportunity to speak with someone that had reached the summit of the world’s highest mountains. His advice to me was to never forget that we really only compete against ourselves, and to keep winning; perhaps, that was some of the best advice I’ve ever received. Besides, ordinary is exactly as it sounds. As Mark Twain once wrote:
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
I look forward to sharing my thoughts as I embark on the exciting journey.