swimming the English Channel
Sam Penny's journey to conquer the Everest of swimming
This story is only about the day of my English Channel swim and the few days either side. This is not about the journey, which was far more challenging than this day. One day I will attempt to capture the journey in words.
"If the journey wasn't challenging, the destination wouldn't be rewarding".
Firstly, getting to Dover is a waiting game. One of the traditions of the Channel is that just after 7pm, you get a call about whether you are swimming the next day or not. The boat pilot waits for the 7pm weather forecast before the final decision is made. Quite often, you have a fair idea if it's going to be a swimmable day based on the forecasts. But you just need to wait. And wait we did. On four nights we received a call from our support head, Tim Denyer, about if we were swimming.
I've got the call! I'm heading off to tackle the English Channel at 5am Monday(2pm Australian time)! This is very exciting. I'm hoping to do this 34km trek in under 12hours. Let's hope the weather stays brilliant with the waves, current and wind at my feet. We will have a final confirmation at 7pm our time tonight and post updates on the below Race Boss page. With the English Channel, it is a real waiting game. 1 year of preparation has come down to this moment where we wait for the right conditions. Being patient has been easy for me but not so easy for Helen. I am 100% ready for this and very excited.
(Make sure you click on the Read More)
Less than 30days until we jet off to the UK! Things are very much in the final stages. I am in my final big week of training with 50km including a 6hr swim on the weekend. Rest week next week then 40km, 30km, 20km, Channel Crossing!
My body is holding up very well. I am getting massages every week and to get out some of the knots that show up. But overall, I am feeling good. My shoulders aren't hurting and I am swimming faster than I ever have. It's a very exciting time!
Something that I keep thinking about is the journey. The quote, "if they journey wasn't challenging, then the goal isn't big enough!" It is certainly true. This journey has improved my life, my mind, my body so much that I would recommend doing these kinds of adventures to anyone.
English Channel Update: I have never been so tired before in my life! I have just had a rest week and slept so much. I had 3x3hr afternoon sleeps and was in bed early every night. It was weird. I had done little swimming in the past week and way more tired than my previous 3 big weeks of 140km in total.
Exciting news! We got a call late Friday night asking us if we wanted to swim the English Channel this August! Helen Shadforth and I deliberated all weekend about logistics and our preparedness. We said "let's do it"! This is very exciting. We weren't scheduled to swim it until August next year. Bringing our plans forward 12months is perfect and we are ready. We have 15weeks to cram swimming and a huge amount of learning to take on this mammoth task. I am glad I have been swimming so hard to make this opportunity arise. If you need me, I'll be face down in the ocean off Mooloolaba for quite some time.