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Written by Terri Dietz, post her Ka'iwi Channel Swim, Owner of TerriDietz-WYOA Hawaii

WOW I still have few words as I process my recent Ka’iwi Channel swim! And it was a success! Many of you know I made this attempt last year but I was given a second chance to toe the water and swim

Sandy's Beach-FINISHED

again! The support along the way, during the swim and the amazing warm and heart-felt welcome on the beach as I crawled out of the ocean was incredible! Thank you!

I know the question on many minds is, “WHY??” Well I wanted to see if I could do it! Others have and I had read about their amazing journeys and I have been crew for several other channels swimmers. Now I wanted to test the waters, if you will and test my limits!

The day started with the flight to Molokai on Mokulele Airlines. It’s a trip buying a one way ticket knowing to get back to Oahu you will have to swim! Just 28 miles! HA! My feeders, Michelle Simmons(my swim coach) and Andrew Deutscher (swim buddy) were there to keep me out of trouble! Mind you, my husband, Don already jumped on a plan ahead of us to grab the rental car. Donis my rock! I am so grateful for his support, love and genuine care. This was a big swim to prepare for. And yes, my life revolved around swimming for the past year. I know Don was very anxious, nervous and excited as I set off into the night to swim towards my escort boat with my feeders.

I started my swim on Kepuhi Beach, Molokai at 10:59 pm Wednesday Sept 14th! You have to start channel swims with your feet above the water line. The night was brilliant! Full of stars, just enough moon and the water was warm, CLEAR and inviting!

My boat captain Keith Baxter and second Mate Mike Spalding were waiting on board ready to guide me across Ka’iwi Channel. The crew worked tirelessly and effortlessly to keep me moving and always ready with my feeds! Nothing but positive motivation came from my crew! They would shout out the good wishes people were sending as they watched the tracker. What a thrill! Loved it when crew jumped in with me to swim a leg and experience the majestic ocean!

The swim is no joke, TOUGH! It was a box of chocolates…she had a variety of excitement to share with me and the crew! But we figured it out and “just kept swimming.” (Thank you, Marcia Cleveland). Yes, we did see critters I know you are wondering! I never saw the two that trailed us for a bit but I saw the third. He was brilliant. Thankfully about 30 feet beneath me, and disappeared once Mike jumped in! WOW!

Mike Spalding grabbing a 30 minute swim with me!!

20 hours and 20 minutes later I crawled out at Sandy’s Beach to the warmest welcome EVER! (The swim ends and is official once I get out of the ocean on my own accord and step above the water line on the beach. And I have not been assisted in anyway except with feedings bottles thrown to me every 30 minutes and words of motivation). Being able to turn around and look back from where I came from brought pure joy to my soul! I DID IT!! I never realized how powerful those three words are!

Me with Don, my ROCK and biggest support!

Now I get some well-deserved rest and time to unpack my gear and process this HUGE achievement I set out to accomplish. I keep pinching myself to make sure this wasn’t a dream! It wasn’t! I am grateful for my amazing crew! And grateful to our amazing swim community and all my friends and family, especially my husband! Thank you Jerelyn Watanabe and David Bell for doing many of the long swims with me and helping me mentally to prepare! Here is to never quitting, patience and much Aloha! Xxoo-Terri

Book Terri to speak to your group, company or organization on Patience and Resiliency through the eyes of an athlete or call 808-772-8222.

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