Swimming for stepUp... or is that swimUp?

16th Jul 2010

I was introduced to the Rottnest Swim last year, thinking a 20km swim across a shark-infested shipping channel was something only top athletes would even contemplate attempting. I've been an average pool swimmer for years, but have never done any open water swimming and certainly not from one land mass to another. In fact, the Rottnest Swim is one of the biggest truly open water swims in the world (many swims are larger but are confined to sheltered bays) and requires a support kayak and power boat to see you safely to the other side. My thoughts last year were "wow, it'd be cool to be able to do something like that..." and there the thought process stopped.

Until I attended stepUp. Actually, I coached a pod of teens at stepUp and seeing the change in their attitude and the ability to change the way they viewed their world, their future, their own abilities and be inspired by what was possible, not probable, kind of rubbed off on me. Maybe I could be an open water swimmer – after all, many people had done it before me and "if its possible for them, its possible for me, its just a matter of how". So the training started, as did getting used to swimming in the ocean, being stung by jellyfish and knowing that sharks are out there (sorry mum).

So as I am about to embark on the most challenging (some say stupid) thing I've ever done, I hope to raise funds for stepUp to enable it to continue inspiring teenagers, coaches and the volunteers involved of what's possible. I hope you too have the opportunity to be a part of stepUp some day, but in the meantime, please give generously… there's sharks out there and I need all the motivation I can get!

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