On the 2nd of September 2017, British ocean swimmer Deborah Herridge successfully completed a solo swim across the English Channel. For anyone who has attempted, conquered, or dreamed of The Channel, the process is long with many peaks, troughs, and turns.
Before a swimmer even reaches the start, the physical and mental are tested. Deborah’s story of battling pneumonia, spending months in bed, and losing a close friend before the swim shows the level of testing Marathon Swimming can bring.
Swimming is a beautiful sport. It’s therapeutic, great for your well-being and gives you a full body workout each time you get in the pool. However, for me, it’s an extremely challenging task, but one that I am determined to complete.
Growing up, I’d always been an optimistic guy. I’d recently started my job as a motor mechanic and was looking forward to starting my life. Little did I know that everything would change in the blink of an eye.
When I was 16 years old, I experienced a life-changing motorbike accident which left me completely paralysed from the waist down. It was an extremely tough time in my life and one that I would never wish upon my worst enemy.
The easiest thing to do at the time would have been to give up. Living with a disability during the 80s was an almost impossible task, there were no ramps, no disabled access, and I just felt like I had nothing to live for.
Dea Ann Joslin is leading the way to a dream swim for a group of her young athletes in the Westside Aquaducks Swim Club.
Joslin will take a group of her Aquaduck swimmers and coaches to Hawaii next summer to participate in the Maui Channel relay swim. The coach has already shown her young swimmers how to master that difficult swim. Earlier this month, she swam the channel solo on a Thursday and came back two days later to take a turn as part of a six-person relay team that also completed the challenge.
Joslin’s solo swim was a gift from her long-time friend and distance swimming legend Bob Roper. The relay was arranged by the South End Rowing Club of San Francisco.
Both swims were a success for Joslin. Her solo swim was just a shade below her target time of 5 hours. She finished in 4 hours, 54 minutes. Her three-men and three-women relay team won its age division.
It took nearly 11 hours, but a 17-year-old girl from Kelowna, B.C., has completed her gruelling goal of swimming around an island off the coast of Vancouver. Instead of resting, Emily Epp is now reaching for another milestone she plans to swim across the English Channel next month and she’s raising thousands of dollars for a children’s hospice in the process….
Timmy Flaherty, 72, from the Claddagh, Galway and Emer Cannon, Kiltullagh,
Co Galway after swimming at Blackrock, Salthill, Galway. Go, Timmy, go!
Here’s one of the best interviews of the year…
Source & Photos: Independent.ie
The non-physical benefits of open water and marathon swimming varies from person to person, and likely changes over the years. For some, it is simply a way to exercise, nothing more. For others, it’s mental therapy, a chance to socialize with friends, and travel.
Over the years, some elements of marathon swimming have changed for me. Other elements were always there but I had to grow as a person to realize them. I learn something new every swim, even a short training or pleasure swim. It’s the opportunity to continuously work on ‘things’ through the lessons each swim presents and weave them back into my daily life.
Marathon swimming is the opportunity to find and practice solitude, solace, meditation, self-reflection, self-acceptance, confidence, patience, gratitude, friendship, fortitude, and trust.
Yes, there is always a stroke component – am I rotating, how is my hand entry… Other times it’s mental – when I get frustrated and want to quit, how do I turn my head off and not let it interfere?
It’s always something, and sometimes I don’t realize what the lesson was or the cumulative benefits until well after the swim.
What is it for you?