My sporting background is competitive swimming, having started at the relatively late age of 9. I swam until I was 19, collecting two Irish national titles and records (200m + 400m free) along the way.
The next 25 years or so are all a blur, and I emerged with a career, a very understanding wife, 4 children, a dog and 2 terrapins.
I started, and kept up surfing during those 25 years, more to keep me sane than fit. My periods of free time did not always coincide with suitable surfing conditions and that lack of activity left me unfit and rather overweight, at 16 stone.
All this Open Water lark started for me in June 2009, when a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are Darrell Evans, asked me to do the 750m swim leg of a triathlon relay. Foolishly I agreed. This was a sea swim which thankfully I completed. The run up the hill to the transition area was harder than the actual swim.
Believe me, the apparent smile was for the camera and look how far down the water is! However, despite being completely unfit, I enjoyed it. Time to start training again.
I cannot run. I don’t have a bike, and the prospect of training for three sports did not appeal to me. Training for one is hard enough, so triathlon was not an option. I just wanted to swim. I no longer had the speed for normal pool competition, plus sprint training is hard on the body. So I decided that sea swimming was the way to go, nice easy pace, long satisfying swims. I started sea swimming with the two local triathlon clubs during the summer 2009 and we did a few informal sea swims before the close of the season.
I then started “official” pool training in october 09, lost two stone with winter training, and have been going well since.
My new “career” is underway…..