Proceeds will go to WaveLength - a charity supporting mental health and loneliness. https://wavelength.org.uk/
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE ?
30 Days, EVERY DAY, Twenty 25 metre laps ! 15,000 metres in total. Open water swimming includes lakes, ponds and open water lido’s. We started on the 1st April so we’ll be swimming every day this month at the least.
Why & How did you come around to do this ?
What turned out to be a challenge I have tried and failed 3 times with a total of 41 days (9 days first attempt, 16 days second attempt, 21 days third attempt), I got in contact with a good friend and pro footballer I work with named David Carty during lockdown, who was up for the idea of swimming for 30 days.
With heated swimming pools CLOSED he said "lets do it in open water... TOMORROW" And that's how we have started. My first time in ice cold showers and waters on my bare skin at 8.30am on a cloudy windy day..I realise that when I submerge myself in this water, it’s a battle of survival. My body will have to go through its survival mechanisms for me to get through this; at that moment I knew this is now a challenge. When your family and friends, and now your body says NO...What do you do ? Do you listen to the voices of social media, opinionated strangers, or any negativity - or do you do what's best for you to make you a better, more knowledgeable, life experienced person. Before I knew it these thoughts were submerged by ice water, my body surprised, my mind looking for a way out after falling and sinking in this cold but thick fluid gradually. I find myself at the bottom of the waters, looking up to the surface, looking for survival. A deep breathe followed as I burst through the surface heart palpitating, lungs gasping for not just air, but warmth. Eyes wide, hairs spikier then walking on a set of pins. "Im in now... All I need to do is get over to my lane and start !"
Over I go, gasping with every stroke, head above water searching for my lane.
Cut a long story short I walked out of that water with a priceless feeling of bravery, courage, confidence, and mental resiliance.
At that moment I saw clearer than the view of my chilled goggles in the icy deep waters. Because at the moment I got into that water, the moment I doggy paddled to my lane in fears of my body shutting down, and the moment I pushed off that board to break into my swim of 20 lengths... Not once did I think about social media... Nor did I think about opinions... Nor did I think about any negativity... It was ME VS MY SURVIVAL. And... That .... Is ... Life.
Face your fears and make yourself stronger. Life can throw some real bs at you, so be ready stay strong, stay in this game of life !
DID YOU ALWAYS PLAN TO DO THIS FOR CHARITY ?
My heart goes out to all the suicides during this epidemic. I can only imagine the demonic mental and physical struggles those are going through. So NO INITIALLY this was for myself, my own fitness, my own health. But the feeling of life and death, the feeling of survival, the feeling of your body so cold it goes into a state of shock has triggered an empathy for those not strong enough to survive. Everyone has this strength inside them, and I hope I can help inspire those to stay see that too. What goes through my mind that the suicide rates rising, but did they have the knowledge or exposure to individuals, or the chance to hear of a method to help them survive. Living through these challenges I challenge anyone with depression to try open water swimming. The benefits already just one week in have changed my life.
WHAT EXACTLY AM I DOING ?
To help inspire change ! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE ! Nobody forced me to do this . I said let me put myself in an uncomfortable place for the next 30 days and see how I turn out. If people get behind this I will do 100 days. What turned out to be challenge I have tried and failed, I got in contact with a good friend and professional footballer I work with named David Carty, who was up for this idea of swimming for 30 days. Cold showers every day and ice waters isn’t something to always look forward to - but that’s the point. How far can you push yourself, how much can you accomplish, how much can actually be achieved with only the power of the mind . I’m living proof , I hope this inspires you, and anyone out there doubting . Nike slogan is common but it’s simple. Just do it. If you have any goals. Just do it . If you have any targets. Just do it . If you have any complaints to fix . JUST DO IT .
Appreciate all and any generosity !