- I am not a professional athlete and have never been involved in sports before. I got into swimming a year and a half ago. It turned out that my coach teaches me to swim long distances. I decided to give it a try. He started, of course, in the pool, then went into open water: sailed on Sevan, on Seliger, in the Gulf of Finland.
Then the open water season is over.
Before each new season, coaches determine the amount of work, the training program depends on it. My coach set me a goal: to swim more than 25 kilometers.
But in the process, I realized that the pursuit of numbers does not suit me. This sport is not about health: first you need to prepare for a long swim, then recover for a long time after it.
I decided that I won’t pursue the number, but I will swim with meaning. And he began to look for information about the upcoming dates of historical events.
I started looking for interesting routes in Russia. I basically wanted to find a place in our country. Before that, I had a bad experience in open water swimming as part of Ocean's Seven.
This is an analogue of Seven Summits, a super marathon for swimmers from all over the world. Swims take place in different corners of the globe: in the Strait of Cook, in the English Channel, in the Strait of Gibraltar ... In those places where the strongest current and the strongest waves.
Participating in the Ocean's Seven is a great honor for a swimmer, a queue for such events must be completed within three years. And even if you took the turn and she came up, the weather forecast can postpone your swim for a year. In my opinion, this story is very publicized and too expensive. I wanted to find a historical place in Russia - to show that we also have where to swim.
Poor school, unfortunately, made itself felt: I stumbled on the "Road of Life" by chance, vaguely recalling several general historical facts about her.
After reading a large amount of literature, I was convinced that the decision to sail along the historical route of the “Ice Road of Life A-102” was correct. ("The Road of Life" is the ice road that connected the besieged Leningrad with the country. - Note. Ed. ).
I’ve been preparing for the swim since January, I had 6 workouts per week: 4 swims and 2 general strengthening workouts - crossfit and physical education.
As for the heats, I gradually increased the mileage: first a 10-kilometer distance in the pool, then more. It was necessary to understand how the body responds to such loads. Training in the pool should not be limited to: the willpower for the swim, which I planned, would not be enough, we also need serious experience in swimming in open water. I took my first 50 kilometers at the daily competitions in St.
Ladoga is an insidious place. Before the swim, I did not believe in it and did not take the location seriously. The first time I tried to make a swim on August 3. Ignoring the weather forecast, he arrived at Lake Ladoga with gear and equipment - and returned.
The wind was so strong that it was not possible to sail.
Deciding on the second attempt was difficult psychologically: each failure nurtures complexes and fears in a person, which are more and more difficult to win over time. But I could not give up the idea and decided to finish what I started.
The start took place from the shore of Lake Ladoga at the Osinovets lighthouse, then the route was built to the island of Bolshoy Zelenets. I was accompanied by three people from the Ministry of Emergency Situations on a boat, one of them is a doctor.
I ate every hour: mostly they were buckwheat, canned tuna, dates, cookies, baby food cans.
I had a wetsuit four millimeters thick, but in the water it did not save. The air temperature was about +15 degrees, the sun did not really heat the water. At first it was very cold, then it became comfortable - the second ten kilometers was so easy that I thought: I’ll finish the swim even earlier than I planned.
But suddenly everything changed dramatically: the sun began to set over the horizon, the headwind rose, it became very cold again and my speed dropped to one kilometers per hour, no matter how I try to increase it.
Overcooling is dangerous because you start to fall asleep. My consciousness was clear, since during the swim I drank lemongrass, but my legs and knee joints were very painful. Several times I had to take pain medication, but it did not help. When several kilometers remained to the finish, I climbed on a boat and asked the doctor to stretch my legs: it became easier, I could return to the water.
Surprisingly, when the shore was nearby, all the symptoms disappeared at a glance.
Perhaps this is a matter of psychology. I finished at the memorial "Road of Life" in the village of Kobona.
You need to throw yourself calls, if that makes any deep sense. I swam across Lake Ladoga in memory of those who died or survived here, saving other people — and tried to do this through monotonous physical labor.
I remember one photo from the historical archives.
When Leningrad was liberated, the road to the city was completely broken. It was urgent to lay a narrow gauge railway so that trains ran along it and saved the inhabitants of the city from starvation. And women did it. In one of the shots , five women stand with a crossbar on their shoulders, and on top there are rails. And so they drag these rails, not sparing themselves.
A 20-kilometer path was laid in two weeks. They proved that human capabilities are endless. My swim is in memory of their feat.
Ahead, of course, will be new distances and new locations. It is good that there are many of them in Russia.