Well its been a busy time since my last post. The training is going well and the km’s are starting to increase.
Last Sunday I met up with some of Chloe’s other Channel swimmers at Brighton for a swim. In attendance was Grant (who is swimming a solo at the exact same time as me), Rachel (who is doing a solo in 2016), and Ash who is part of a relay team swimming in September this year. I haven’t really been feeling the cold too much and I guess this led me into a bit of a false sense of security, probably not taking the Bay swims as seriously as I should be. This was the first time I have swum in a group so once we all took off, it became clear there were a range of different speeds – resulting in a number of periods where I waited for the others. I’m not sure if it was this waiting around or the fact I had already swum in the morning at Port Melbourne, but I started to feel quite cold and when I got out, I was shivering. Thank god for the steam room at the Brighton Baths – was in the 3m x 3m room room for 30 minutes thawing out in the intimate company of 15 other guys (two brave ladies were also in attendance).
As David Elliot asked me following my last post, swimming the Channel is every bit as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I have no doubt that I will have put in the work to make it across physically by June next year (Chloe and Nic will see to that). What is equally important is training the mind to keep going despite the range of challenges and emotions that I will no doubt face – this is the part that only I can prepare myself for. I have learnt a valuable lesson this week and am under no illusions about the enormity of the task ahead.
It was also a sad week with the passing of Tommy Hafey. Tommy is well known to all Melburnians for his football prowess but he didn’t really come onto my radar until two years ago when I saw him present the trophies at the 2km Sorrento Bay Swim. I always wondered what his involvement with the SLSC was however he always gave a speech before the presentations, encouraging young people to stay involved in sport and not get involved in drugs. I later discovered that Tommy loved Sorrento and often commented “why would you go anywhere else when you can go to Sorrento”. He looked as fit as a fiddle in January 2014 so it just goes to show how fast our time here can pass. The photo below was from the presentations this year where I was lucky enough to take out the win. He always said “if it is to be – its up to me”. I will be drawing on that for motivation next June. RIP Tommy.
Tomorrow I will swim for 2 hours which is the longest swim in the Bay so far. Water temperature has risen a degree due to the unseasonably warm May weather but regardless, it will be interesting to see where I am up to and how the body pulls up. The 6.1km flogging that Nic gave us this morning was probably not the ideal preparation but it will be good to have a few mates out there swimming around the poles with me (thanks Grant, Steve and Tim).