September 2017, on the beach of Sant’Antonio in Corsica at 7.15 a.m. I start the 6 hours and 20 minutes or 15.5 kilometers swim towards the beach of Rena Bianca in Sardinia. After my first longer experience in the open water (The Water Element, October 2017), the desire to swim and to feel embraced in the powerful water element for several hours remained very present. After the swimming camp in Ireland in May 2018 (HITtheWALL swimming camp) I was thinking to cross the Mediterranean Sea again, but unfortunately, other projects had priority and I couldn’t get there anymore.
So I started again with the preparations for the winter season when I met Dani (in the picture with the Official Yellow Happy Lontras T-Shirt). Spontaneously and without expectation, she asked me if I wanted to swim with her from Rapperswil to Zurich; after a few swims in the Limmat at 10 degrees, her question came back to my mind and I said that it would be nice to swim in the freshwater of Lake Zurich, also because it is the city that is hosting me since July 2010. So we reserved the 4th of August 2019 and signed up for the relay (Sri Chinmoy Marathon Swim)! And I started to train again and follow the courses for my internal growth. In November 2018 I attended a three-day workshop where I learned meditation through the methodology of the Koan. A Koan is a question the student asks his Zen master after exposing a description of an entire situation and vice versa(1).
3rd of July before the briefing
During three days I did several meditations and asked myself: “Who speaks now?” (see Koan meditation, work in progress). During the last meditation I unfortunately (or luckily) dislocated my right shoulder. I can imagine your reaction and your question: “But you meditated, right? How did you dislocate your shoulder?” This is a long story that can be the subject of another article. But what worried me the most was the inability to move my right arm without pain! How could I give the planned Shiatsu treatments for the week? How to keep ongoing processes with customers? So I went again meditating with the Koan and asked myself: “Who speaks now?” Without judging, without evaluating, without comparing… observing, expressing and feeling who is speaking and how my life energy circulated in my body!
After the workshop back in Switzerland I took care of my shoulder: thank you Michelle, thank you Tom, thank you Sakura, thank you Nathalie, thanks to meditation and to the cold Limmat water I was able to go through the pain and work with some difficulties and continue swimming. Thanks to the reactivation of my internal resources, the recovery of the shoulder was faster than expected. This recovery phase was based on a specific lifestyle that reactivated the life energy and healing power in my body. This time has enriched my experience and the advices I give to people who come to Shiatsu treatments. And it also helped me at another swimming camp in March, this time in Malta (Adam Walker). With the determination, awareness of my emotions and the knowledge that my shoulder wasn’t 100% yet, I could swim for 3 hours as well as 6 hours on the open sea. Trusting my almost full recovery, I went back to Ireland in May 2019 (HITtheWALL swimming camp), where I hurt my shoulder again on the first day…Damn it!!!!!!!!!
6H Swim’s Certificate with Adam Walker, 9th of March 2019
But I still went into the water! I committed myself to use my left arm or legs more or to push with more love, but the pain was always there. Again I thought about the customers and about my health and then after the first hour, I came out of the water. On the ground, I recalled the exercises and took care of my body, knowing that everything is connected.
Back in Zurich I took up the subject again with my therapists and myself. And, as I always tell my clients to take care of themselves, I have continued in my everyday life with the corresponding joys and difficulties: the loneliness of swimming for hours or hearing the question: “Are you crazy, why do you swim from Rapperswil to Zurich… and nobody pays you for it, right?” or the beauty of swimming at dawn and see water as an immense peace full vastness of life…
Waiting for Relay starting at Rapperswil, the 4th of August 2019
I have been looking for new ways to regenerate my energy, to feel when my sugar reserves were exhausted and to continue swimming, trusting that my body would do the right alchemy and would find a new source of energy in fat to continue swimming. In order to give me the courage and to overcome difficult moments, I have repeated my goal several times: to feel embraced in the power of water! And I kept the pleasant moments with me.
During training and swimming, I often thought I wanted to stop because I was overwhelmed by the information that came out of my mind, those “voices” of the head that took me over and restricted me from giving trust to the rest of the body. I have already experienced that when I have the feeling that the whole body is working together in one stream, I felt invigorated and strong. Nevertheless, I felt like something that prevented or made it more difficult for me to make the first stroke… so I ask myself: “Who speaks now? What do I need to start the training and bring it to an end?” and I recalled the many sensations of pleasure and suddenly the voices of the head had no more power over my training.
I let my breath flow naturally, I was with open senses, I perceived the movement of my heart, and I felt the embrace of the water, my head was light and I let myself be swayed by this inner swing, one stroke after the other. When swimming every move counts, just as in daily life every step counts.
The Relay starts
The steps consist also on resting, regenerating moments, speed, attention and slowness. These stages of the process are in constant motion and have their own precise rhythm and direction…
During the swim
As with Shiatsu treatment, when I work on the meridians and my clients are immersed in the sensations of the body, with the intention of trusting their own inner intelligence, which activates the life energy and self-healing powers. The client has the opportunity to consciously feel his body.
Being aware of emotions or sensations systematically strengthen or soften certain parts of the body is part of the reactivation of the life energy. During the Shiatsu treatment, I do my 50% with the work on the body and the meridians and the other 50% are implemented by the client in everyday life.
Good Shiatsu to all.
At the arrival after 9h and 18m (Dani 4h18m, 14ish Km and Massimo 5h, 14ish Km)
Special Team Members
(1) Kusan Sunim, The way of Korean Zen, Weatherhill, 1985
Shiatsu provides a space for self-awareness. Letting go judgments, assumptions and expectations