By Alex Cole
- Shop Development Manager
- Hospice in the Weald
With the original date postponed until later in the year, Kate Walker and I had trained too hard to step back from this challenge and it was fortunate enough that we were able to recruit a support team courtesy of Freedom Tri Club, Crowborough of which I have been a member for a couple of years now.
We met early on a clear morning and reassured ourselves that it is only 4 laps, it was just the fact that each lap was 500m that was niggling at the back of our minds, but all of us too full of the team spirit to share those thoughts – positivity and support two key factors of effective teamwork and we had it in abundance. After a few minutes of stretching both our bodies and our funny looking neoprene costumes we braved the few steps beyond the waters edge only to discover that the sign optimistically boasting 23 degrees was not mistaken, the water was beautifully warm and suddenly its’ calmness surrounded our bodies and we set off.
The water busied as the distance passed, it seems these early birds may have caught the worm but the regular and strong swimmers soon caught us! We remained calm and focussed on the mission in hand all the same - I remember counting down the laps and before I knew it I was a quarter of the way, then half way, then over half way and soon enough there was only one more lap to go and that niggle of 500m laps had disappeared - the end was in sight.
A feeble attempt to swim faster on the home straight hardly made any difference but assured me I had used all the energy I had in my body and as my feet found the floor for the first time in 47 mins, I was greeted by Alan, the wearer of red hat that I had seen pass me early on but kept in close range knowing we were similar levels in the training pool. A few minutes passed and Annie, our GBR age grouper popped up from the approaching pack of swim caps, then Kate, then Sue and Graham (not pictured as still swimming due to a halfway pit stop).
The Stevens family (Heather, Bex and Aunty Stevens) had decided to get out of bed and join us for a photo opportunity, they then proceeded to swim the distance once we had left the water, or so they tell us!
I should mention that not long after we finished, our team coach Rob popped by, for many of us the first time we had seen him actually in the water, he confirmed why he is the coach, he had swam a lap further than us despite starting later, maybe a benefit of an extra half an hour in bed, maybe the fact that he is a better swimmer!
A great morning was had by all and some huge accomplishments realised, the farthest most of us had swum, not to mention raising some essential funds that go toward caring for patients and families at Hospice in the Weald.
Thank you to everyone that supported and please let us know if you fancy an early morning open water adventure, we will certainly be going back for more!