I’ll cross that Bridge when I come to it (or not)

My finish for Stage 2 of 8 bridges was under the walkway over the Hudson footbridge. I know from the NYOW event 2 Bridges it is about 1Km from the Mid-Hudson bridge the official finish for the stage. For those that have experienced that event in our beloved Hudson you know that direction has a huge impact on even that short of a distance. It was here that I received one final lesson from my former swim coach, Terry Laughlin, who left us too soon. NYOW put on a fitting memorial swim for Terry Laughlin last week in his favorite place to swim Lake Minnewaska. But it was here in the shadow of the Mid-Hudson Bridge when I last saw Terry in person. He was volunteering for 2 Bridges and I was swimming it. The place will always have a special energy for me as a result. I swam my first stages of 8 Bridges last year having heard of the swim from Terry in the previous year but too late to get a slot. My kayaker for this adventure was the angel Terry O’Malley who I know was sent to shepherd me down the Hudson by Terry Laughlin. We started the swim under the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge where I finished against the flood tide last year during stage 1. It was therefore on my mind to stay at it and try to get in before the river began to flood again. When the day started I felt bad for the first 4-5 miles which found the Hudson unusually glassy and calm. I was experiencing pain in my trapezius muscles. Maybe a remnant from a challenging swim across the Potomac river recently. I tried not to attach myself to the pain and give it any energy over me and wished it would float down the river away from me. I kept swimming and the soreness washed away. Terry would provide me with some useful stats on my feeds and we had a really good flow going. The longer we went the better I started to feel. The winds picked up a bit and I felt we were swimming into a headwind but it was still a good day on the water. Our bridge the Mid-Hudson came into view and I thought it would be a couple more hours before we reached our destination. However, we became sidetracked by the flood. The channel is now a friend turned enemy and into the eddy near the riverbank we retreated trying to escape the flood. Any swimmer who has had to crawl along here knows this is where the swim becomes more eventful. It is swimming over various river debris in a desperate attempt to get in. Rocks, Sticks, Leaves, while your fingertips drag on the bottom of the riverbed. At one point my stroke caught a dead fish which Terry claims I launched into the air to his amusement. I thought we would eventually get to the Mid-Hudson but the walkway became my exit this time around. The lesson being sometimes the end comes sooner than you expect it will so enjoy all the strokes that get you there.