A bit about me and my defining moments
My love for the English Channel and other adventures didn’t start like many people, a pipe dream in childhood. I almost fell into the sport by chance. I was a masters pool swimmer who strayed into the odd open water swim. I did enjoy the camaraderie of masters and competing, I still do.
It was after the World Masters Games in Canada in 2005 where I won a bronze medal in the 2k open water event, and a friend called to tell me that she had decided to change her channel solo to a relay and invited me to be part of the team. The relay was less than a month away so not much time to over think it.
The day came and it was an incredible experience. I really didn’t know what to expect or what was normal. We completed the relay in 9 hours 40 minutes in a virtually straight line. I had no idea how unusual that was.
And so, it began. From that day on my life changed. There were no fanfares or signs that this would happen, yet when I trace back the defining moments, this is right up there.
What are your defining moments? Here are a few of my swimming related ones:
Asking the swimming club head coach what the criteria were for joining masters. The answer was that I had to be able to float. That I could do! My coach then taught me to swim front crawl with my head in my water. Is this the ultimate defining moment perhaps?
Not being successful in my first solo attempt in the English Channel. Had I been successful I would have walked back into my ‘normal’ life of masters and officiating at galas. Instead I came back and have not been able to or wanted to drag myself away since
Completing my second channel solo and a Round Jersey solo within 7 days of each other. My channel solo was 4.5 hours quicker than my first one. Both these feats changed my perception of me, and probably that of those around me also. This set me on a track of redefining what was possible.
Freda asking me to take over running Dover Channel Training from her when she decided that it was time to retire. She must have seen something in me at that time that I didn’t see in myself. What joy this has brought and a change in my professional life too.
Over the coming weeks I’ll share more of my thoughts. I always reflect with honesty after a big swim, many of these reports can be found on my website. I’ll continue to share my reflections from my future adventures as and when they come up.
Do you reflect on your adventures? It’s something that I’d encourage you to do within the first day or so when the memories are still vivid. Reflecting can help you learn from what went well and what could be adapted for future adventures. If you want some help with that process, I’m here for you.
With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching and given our shared love of swimming I’d like to make a special offer for just two people. This could be for you, or perhaps you could use this as a gift for a loved one. The offer is a free 30 minute one to one session with me (worth £75). Leave a message as to why this would be a great opportunity for you or your loved one and I’ll pick the two lucky people. It’s time to get creative!