I walked the dogs just after sunrise last Saturday. September 1st. The sun shining through the mist, dewey grass, cobwebs & conkers creeping in. I love the change in seasons. The air felt cooler and I was rocking my one-foot-in-summer-one-foot-in-autumn look - wellies & long socks with summer shorts! Wiping cobwebs off my face (only early morning dog walkers will understand the perils of being the first one out) I had a flashback to how this subtle shift in season would make me feel, knowing that I had an autumn open water swimming event coming up.
I could revel in the joy of swimming outside throughout July and August. Straight in. This is lovely. Maybe get out and get back in without my wetsuit on. Look at me go! Confidence growing about the swim event. A handful of long hot summery days and amnesia sets in. September appears, hand in hand with my doubt. Poop. I start silently obsessing about the drop in temperature and mentally calculating how many neoprene vests I can wear under my wetsuit. Being married to the Ice Man / Swim God, there is an unwritten rule, we do not discuss temperatures. It is what it is Janey. Control the controllables. I can borrow his belief a little, but more often than not, the fear is real!
So my empathy and admiration go through the roof to all of you participating in autumn & winter swim events. You overcome, push through and expand our minds to what is humanly possible for ordinary folk.
I witnessed Steve Wood, who has bravely undergone countless knee operations, swim a non stop lap of Stoney Cove for the first time the other day. Priceless. Sue Stewart, swimming skins, overcame a panic attack to carrying on swimming in the cooler waters of the Cove too. Remarkable.
Would you swim a breathtaking 20k in Lake Geneva? Joanna Vestey did. What an incredible accomplishment.
Graham Carder and Mark Sutton finished strong, completing a 1.5k swim at The Cotswold Country Park. So happy for you two.
Darren Watson, swimming skins, his wife, Banu and Emily Campbell conquered the 11 mile Windermere One Way swim last Sunday. WOW. (That’s an innovative acronym!).
Ironman Wales, with the 2 lap sea swim, will unfold around the seaside town of Tenby this Sunday. David Wright, Iain O’Kane, Gemma Royles and Ashley Blackmore - you’ve done it once (or even twice) before, you CAN do it again!
Hoards of you will be stroking out towards the sea over the weekend of 15 / 16th September, from Totnes to Dittisham, winding your way along 10 kilometres of the River Dart. Brilliant.
Ali Klein and Emma Whitmore, will be down in Dorset on September 23rd, taking on Ironman Weymouth 70.3. Golly. And before the month ends, on the 29th, there’s the crazy, autumnal Hurly Burly 10k swim on the Mawddach in North Wales. Heralded as ‘the fastest 10k you’ll find’. Well, around 800 of you are about to find out!
If you really want to knock yourself out for the day on September 29th, join the cross dressers brigade swimming across Loch Ness at the crack of dawn, in your running shoes with your packed lunch strapped to you, before you and your mate yomp about the Scottish wilderness on repeat. Also known as Loch Gu Loch swim-run. Good luck all, you’re totally mad.
So, a tsunami of swims this September. This is just a snapshot though, there are heaps more going on right through this month.
I’ll be back mid month with more to share.
Going into a teenagers room is like taking a trip to Ikea…
You pop in just to look and end up leaving with 6 cups, 2 plates, 3 bowls, a tea towel and some cutlery.