How hard can it be, When having 2 challenges in life together?
Crossing the Dead Sea & swimming from Jordan to Israel was one of the craziest challenges I ever faced, a rare group effort.
It was a production by the Cypress-Israel team (Oded Rahav in chief) together with swimmers from all over the world, and it was covered by news reporters in Israel and abroad for articles on Channel 5, Haaretz magazine, CNN and others.
But the real difficulty has been my own fear, and even lower back pain I started feeling.
I often lecture on “life without pain” in general, and specifically lower back pain, and here I was, dealing with two babies at home (4 children total, ages 10, 8, 1.5, and 2 months), lack of sleep, inability to work out properly, and a heavy responsibility on my shoulders.
Our goal was, together with my good friends from the Cypress-Israel team,(Uri Erell, Luc Chetboun, Doron Amusi, Oded Rahav, Ben Enosh, Avishag Turek, Adina Faul & me Ori Sela) to take 20 swimmers from around the world to the Dead Sea on a challenge that has never been tried before, to train most of them from afar and hope for the best.
What was I afraid of?
My real fear, apart from swimming 17 km in salty water that can kill you, was the responsibility I had over people from all over the world who came to Israel in order to help us preserve one of the rarest natural wonders of the world – the Dead Sea.
In my lectures I talk about our personal “container” and how not to take on more challenges when your “container” is already full, especially if the challenge is a hard one and it involves lack of sleep, and here I was, facing a challenge just like that, which life, the team and the love for my country got to me to take on, and my personal “container” couldn’t contain it.
I was very scared, for myself, but also for the team, for my friends, and mainly for the dear people Mad Swimmers from South Africa and the rest of the world.
Sometimes being aware of your limitations is harder, because you’re aware that you’re on the edge, that you’ve gone too far.
Luckily for me my charming wife, Tami, made me healthy soup every day (quinoa, whole rice and lots of vegetables), I took vitamins, drank plenty of water, worked less hard, meditated, stopped running completely and regarded the Dead Sea swim as though it was a taper before an important championship.
You all know how this ended. We crossed the Dead Sea successfully, I don’t have any back pain, my muscles are fine, we met new friends from all around the world.
My message to you is that sometimes life is crazy, but you have to be aware of your abilities and prepare yourselves accordingly, and if your personal “container” is about to overflow, treat yourselves to a Hydrotherapy treatment, like I did, and swim in the WEST technique, and smile at life.