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The last few weeks have been a fluctuation of emotional and physical challenges.  I came off a high from a good solid block of training straight into hitting a physical wall. After 2 weeks of rest and medication, I still wasn’t getting better. I have since been through multiple tests and scans and sat the enduring test of waiting for results. It has not been fun and I am no closer to having any more answers. But amidst it all, I know that I will still be able to do my swim next year. I do believe there are answers and this season is just another one that is adding to my story. It will be a...

This last weekend I participated in my second Lake Eland 3km swim.  The venue is by far the best fresh water swimming venue I have raced in to date. It is surrounded by a gorge and stunning landscape littered with trees and wildlife.  We spotted a few impala, wildebeest and Eland on our drive in to the start of the race.

I had planned to race the first 3km and then do another 3km as a training swim followed by a mile if I still felt strong. I set out at a comfortable pace knowing that I had a relatively long swim ahead of me. After the first 3km I was feeling strong and getting into...

 If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it, Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life- Charles Bukowski
 
On Friday it was 40 weeks till I attempt my channel crossing. That is not a long way away. I have been working for this goal for over 4 years and in 40 weeks time it will be done. This time last year, I had Bilharzia and this time next year I will have completed my channel crossing. It blew my mind to think how short life is and how quickly time goes. How much...

This past weekend I had an incredible opportunity to do some night swimming. The camp was organised by Derrick & Debbie Frazer- an incredible couple who have great experience navigating swimmers in and around the Cape Town waters doing water safety and seconding for various challenges that swimmers set for themselves. They have also seconded for a few English channels supporting swimmers in their quest to cross the channel safely.

There were 5 swimmers, the Frazers and Andrew Mitchell (videographer) who attended the camp.  The aim of the camp was primarily to expose channel...

Last week my coach had the foresight (again) to give me the week off. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and so I was relieved when Brian told me to take a week off and come back rested.  I probably had the most fun last week that I have had in a long time. It was a good week, but unfortunately work was incredibly busy which then served as a counterproductive ‘rest week’

I also had quite a long to do list which I managed to tick off effectively. Although I did not fill my spare training time with work, I did pack my work week to the max because I had ‘spare’ energy...

Last week was a pretty big week on many fronts.  Besides work being busier than average, lots of stuff was happening in my personal life (good stuff) and then I was given an official date for my Hawaii channel crossing next year. On the same day that the date was confirmed, I received news that I have a fully sponsored trip to the Maldives in December for an 8 day (7 night) training camp off a yacht. To top that off my elbow feels significantly better and I was able to train predominantly pain free for most of the week. I had varied my training sessions to include some breathold and sprint...

I did a strength finders test a few years ago to help me gain some perspective and direction in my life. One of my strengths is ‘achiever’ this means that I like to have goals. They can be as small as ticking off boxes on a to-do list for the day or bigger more life changing ones.  Making lists and ticking boxes is something I do well. If I am given a training session to do, I will typically do everything I can to make sure I get it done and sometimes, if I can, I try to do it before the due date!

Luckily, my swim coach seems to know this about me and I only get the sessions on a...

 The Olympics have come and gone and life continues as it always done.  There are a few stand out athletes from the games in various sports and from various countries, but most of the athletes that competed have come and gone and left unnoticed. These athletes have not trained any less than those that succeeded on the day. They just may have had an off day. Sport is cruel like that. You get one shot, (three if you lucky like in swimming, athletics and rowing  with heats, semis and finals) every four years to show the world what you have spent the majority of your life training for. One...

I have been suffering with elbow pain on and off for most of the year since my 24 hour swim in January.  It was probably about 90% better until about 6 weeks ago where I upped my mileage in the pool quite significantly and started to feel the familiar niggle of a chronic injury start to settle in. Work was not helping my case and despite taking anti inflammatory’s and having some treatment on it, it did not want to resolve.

I decided to have a scan to see exactly what was happening so that I could make an informative decision going forward. The problem was the radiologist was on...

‘The path to greatness has its risks, but not one athlete would tell you it isn't worth it.’

I read this quote on an Investec ad whilst looking for Olympic updates. I chose not to go away to Mozambique this weekend so that I could stay and watch the Olympics. I was hoping to go as part of the medical team, but did not get selected. I was bummed and there is a part of me that is still super bleak that I am not in Rio experiencing one of the ultimate peaks in an athlete’s career. It is still a dream of mine to go and I have always said that if I never make it as an athlete I...

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