Over the holiday period I read the biography of one of my idols, and a man who has provided great inspiration to me in swimming. Lewis Pugh became famous by swimming 1km across the thawed North Pole in summer, in water which was -1.7 degrees celsius. There's a really brilliant video on "www.ted.com" where he talks about the experience, and how he dealt with it, and I urge you to watch this. Prior to this challenge Lewis had tackled many other big swims, including the Channel, Cape Horn, and locally Manly to the Opera House (with a mentor Ben!).
Anyway, cold water being a concern, I decided to go for a swim in the lake. Having missed the sunny day opportunity, the morning I had left was a miserable 12 degrees out of the water with a howling gale, and the water was also about 12 degrees. This may sound like not much different to 18, or 16 degrees, but trust me it is absolutely baltic in comparison! I am sure mentally I should have prepared better (just as Lewis learned in his practice for the North Pole), but my hands and feet were numb before I'd even settled into swimming. I really didn't last more than a few minutes before I got out! It was a great experience, but did make me nervous by realising just how much preparation I continue to need to do to prepare for every aspect of the Channel. More cold showers to come.......starting today!
So, without wanting to go on too much, this break has got me to thinking about time. Finding time to train, see my family, work, be a friend, sleep, eat, stretch, do yoga, physio, gym, honestly the list goes on! And, time flies. Updating my training plan yesterday I realised a few stats which I'll leave you with:
- I've been training since July 2011 - more than 200 days
- I've been swimming between 20 and 45km per week for the last 3 months
- In training I've swum more than 500km
- The farthest I have swum in one session is 13.5kms
- Rottnest Island is 20km and takes place in only 4 weeks (eek!)
- Fingers crossed this will take 7 hours
- I will swim the channel in approximately 210 days
- I am only 20% to making my fundraising target, and almost 50% through the available time......
Hope I haven't taken too much of your time! I will update you with a short and snappy paragraph after my long swim this weekend. I will also work out how to add some photos or a gallery to this website so it can be more interactive and entertaining!
If you know friends or relatives who'd be interested to follow this challenge, please send it on and suggest they subscribe. Thanks.