Be Brave Swim: Three Women and the Straits of Mackinac

Big SwimStephanie Clement, her mom Marcia Clement and their good friend Missy Siudara are prime examples of what it means to live a #HealthyMe lifestyle. The three women swam across the Straits of Mackinac on August 8th, appropriately naming their journey the “Be Brave Swim.”

The trio dove in at St. Ignace beach and continued across the Straits of Mackinac, under the Mackinac Bridge and through the shipping channel. All in all they swam for approximately four miles, finally concluding at the Mackinac City beach.

So just how did these three women of all different ages who had never swam in open water ace this challenge? Here, the keys to their success:

Make sure you plan properly. Missy handled a lot of the pre-race research, including getting Coast Guard approval, mapping out the best route, reading books on open water swimming and planning for support boats to follow each swimmer.

Prepare the mind as well as the body. The three women prepared for a year to get ready for the trek. That means that not only did they eat well and swim increasingly longer distances, they also prepared themselves mentally. The women had clear expectations for themselves, visualized their end goal and encouraged each other to enjoy the experience. “A lot of people won’t attempt to accomplish the goals you set for yourself,” says Stephanie.  “Only you understand your determination, motivation and drive to complete a personal challenge.”

Surround yourself with support. To stay focused and keep spirits and energy high, the women surrounded themselves with support before and during the swim. They received positive encouragement from friends and family before the swim, were trailed by boats to ensure their safety during the swim and got support from the Duncan Bay Boat Club in Cheybogan. Also, and most importantly, they encouraged each other throughout training and the actual swim.

Remember that when the going gets tough, keep going. Missy, Marcia and Stephanie all broke through walls during the swim. Having a strong mind, taking breaks to drink water and eat and spending a few moments taking in the beauty around them were all instrumental in pushing through and completing the swim. “My advice to others would be no matter what the challenge or degree of difficulty, be prepared mentally and physically,” says Marcia. “Having teammates as committed as you are is also key. Having those teammates be a good friend and your only daughter is even better!”

Just go for it!You don’t need to be a professional athlete to conquer your goals. None of the three women had ever swum a route like that before, but each were committed to taking on a new challenge and testing their minds and bodies in a new way.

So what’s next for these three? Each has a different answer – from swimming around Mackinac Island to motivating others to take on new challenges. But it’s clear that for this threesome, there’s no goal too big.

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