Sometime in the coming week or two I am due to attempt a solo swim across the English Channel. Already I am fielding lots of questions such as “When will you swim?” and “Why can’t you be specific about the date?”. Experience helps me cope. I am used to it now. I am ready to ride the rollercoaster that is English Channel swim waiting.
Last year I found it difficult to get my head around the waiting system in place for EC swims. One day you are the next to swim, the following day you may have dropped to number 6 in the queue.
A year ago I was waiting for a relay attempt which was due to go early in September, but we were told the weather was not good enough (despite that being the weekend Trent Grimsey succeeded in breaking the world record for being the quickest swimmer to swim from England to France). The relay finally happened on 28 June 2013 and the Aspire Turtles successfully crossed the Channel in 13hrs 52mins. Even then we had a few days waiting for the weather to allow us to swim. It is hard to describe the frustration of waiting to swim, still fresh in my mind even after a year, but I have adjusted my thinking a little to accommodate this. If the opportunity is lost due to weather then the swim will be next year. I am so ready to swim right now though.
I have work organised and flexible accommodation ready. My training is complete and I have sorted places to swim to keep my arms turning over while I am waiting.
The Mallorca long distance swim training week I attended in April this year was a revelation. It seriously challenged my personal expectations. My goal for 2013 was to swim one length of Windermere (10.5 miles) and I had hoped to discover if I had the potential to develop my swimming to serious channel contender status within five years. Three weeks after completing the training week I was offered the chance to swim within five months – and I grabbed it. In August I changed my 1-way Windermere to a 2-way Windermere and completed that in 14hrs 20mins. Now here I am, at the end of my short summer of training and definitely ready to take on the Everest of marathon swimming. It has been huge fun getting here. I have met amazing people and swum in spectacular locations.
Only one problem. I dislike salt water swimming!
I am raising money for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. Please consider donating to the charity in support of my efforts.