Christine’s Swim for Life Event (Guest Post by Christine Croteau)

25 Sep Christine’s Swim for Life Event (Guest Post by Christine Croteau)

My name is Christine Croteau. I happen to be a person living with Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetes. I choose to stay very active and take on athletic challenges to stay fit and maintain an overall sense of well being.

Christine’s Whistle

Here’s an image of my whistle, (thanks Patti Sprague for handing it to me before the event) from the Provincetown Harbor “Swim for Life” and “Paddler Flotilla” . Provincetown Harbor is designated a “safe harbor” and is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. The Swim for Life is both a fundraising event and a celebration of this unique geological gift that gave birth to Provincetown and its symbiotic relationship to the sea.
I participated in this event to raise money for AIDS awareness, Women’s Health Initiatives and Community Services in the Provincetown area. It was it’s 31st year and my 1st.

The swim is only 1.4 miles. I ended up swimming 2.36 miles in an hour and a half (as did many others) due to the high winds and wave swells making it nearly impossible to swim a straight course. I didn’t train very much in open ocean so I freaked out about 100ft out, blew my whistle for the closest kayaker to come take me in.

It happened to be someone I had met the night before, Jim, a lifeguard from the Central Branch YMCA. I spoke with him at length about my fears regarding this event. None of which were waves. Getting eaten by a shark, crashing and passing out from a low blood sugar…etc..sure… but for some reason, I thought the waves wouldn’t be that scary. WRONG! I was bawling when I pulled up next to his kayak, fully prepared to have him take me in not completing the event.I just kept saying in the midst of tears, “I know I can do this, but I’m terrified of the waves and wind, but I know can physically do this!” This was Jim’s first year as one of the 200 paddlers assisting the 400 swimmers. He said “I’ll stay with you the whole way in.” I replied, “If you stay with me the whole way, I know I can do this!” And, he did. As we approached the finish line I turned towards Jim and shouted. “The sun is coming out!” Jim replied with tears in his eyes, “It’s for you Christine, it’s for you!

Christine with Group of Other Women Swimmers

Note from Linda: Since her diagnosis with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 31, Christine Croteau has not let the disease control her.  She continues to find new ways to challenge herself through physical fitness, yoga, meditation and her artwork. Find out more about Christine Croteau here:

Christine’s Butterfly Artwork

Thank you Christine. You are an inspiration to all!

And to my readers, thank you for reading, Cheerios, ~Linda

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