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It is perfect weather to be blogging while it storms outside with a kitten snuggling in the blanket with me. Durban is finally getting some much needed rain and also helping me not feel too guilty about resting.

It has been a below average week with regards to training. I have been feeling pretty tired all week and despite my heart rate being ok, I am currently writing this with a sore throat. It is not fun having chronic fatigue and doing all the right things to try and fix it with no consistent or measurable result.

I would rather have a physical injury. Those, I...

50

The first week back after being away from home, is always a bit anti climatic It’s always great to be home, but it doesn’t take long for reality to hit and all  your promises of coming back home and living simpler, not rushing and easing back into ‘normal’ life fall out the window as reality kicks in.  Life doesn’t stop.

There is always something to do, why do we get so caught up in the business of life. One of my mottos is ‘Keep it simple, live life and use what you have.’  I love that and would love to live my life simply.

It’s so easy to go away and reflect and make...

51

Gosh, this last week feels like it was long ago, although I fear I may have skipped a week?! Anyway, if I did, I apologise, I blame it on the travelling, possible jet lag and distraction of being in a foreign country with a very different concept of time and routine! I did have a good week of rehabilitating myself back into an exercise regime which made me very happy!

Sunday started with a short hike which was 80% uphill! It definitely elevating my heartrate which didn’t drop for at least 2 hours after the hike L the terrible signs of being unfit.
Monday, I got to use a...

I have spent the last three days working with the South African national student rowing team in South Korea. I had no idea how technical rowing was. I was wondering what on earth they needed a tool box for, until I arrived at the venue and saw these complex boats all lined up needing to be assembled with oar holders, using a level to make sure it is correctly balanced. The coaches spent the entire morning setting up the boats for the athletes. Respect.

I then made the terrible mistake of calling the ‘oar’ a paddle! Paddles are used in paddling and...

52

 I guess it is rather fitting that with 52 weeks to go (give or take a few) I have just spent the last 52 hours travelling. That is 1 hour of travelling per week of my countdown!  Or one and a quarter times the swim distance I am planning to swim. Or 4 -5 x the time I hope to complete the swim in. None of that is really relevant though. It is an attempt to show perspective on how time is relative. I watched a movie on the plane about Captain Matthew Webb- the first guy ever to swim across the English Channel. He did it doing head up breastroke and drinking whisky the entire way to keep him...

I have decided to start a 52 week training diary in preparation for my 40km channel crossing next year. 1 year seems a long way away, but when you break it down to just 52 weeks, it seems very close and with me in a position of minimal training, it is easy to want to start panicking.

I have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Also known as ME or ‘yuppie flu’ it sucks.
I have been struggling for over 6 months with random symptoms of tiredness, unrefreshing sleep, and an almost constant low grade sinus infection. I have days where I feel totally normal to days...

Yesterday I got to participate in the Four Elements Swim for Change Ocean Challenge. The initiative behind this event was to create awareness for conservation as well as to fundraise for a development program exposing young students to the environment and providing them with skills to empower them to make a sustainable difference to the environment and in their community. The Four Elements Conservation Trust was founded by a young girl still in her teens. I am continuously amazed by her vision, passion and desire to be authentic in creating change. We need more people like this in our...

 
I have just got back from a fun, spontaneous night away. I needed to escape from the regular routine of life I have subtly created for myself. I needed to find myself some space and just rest in a new environment.

I picked the south coast, because for me it’s always been my place for escape. It was my second home for many years when I first moved to KZN. I love the wild, rugged coastline with surprising rock pools teeming with life.
 
Walking along a quiet stretch of beach on Sunday morning, I opted to walk along the high tide line which was filled with ‘debris...

I was recently away in Zimbabwe for work. We were staying at a local teachers training college which had just built some new prefab buildings to accommodate all of us. It was so recent in fact that some of the roofs were not up yet, the paint was still wet and we had no toilet seats in our block. Our geyser burst twice in the 2 weeks we were staying there and we only had hot water despite the scourching hot weather we were having. Queues for the dining hall varied between 20 and 90 minutes with very slight variations of each meal being served every day.
 
Despite all these...

Robben Island swim 4 January 2015 

Open water swimming is a tough sport, mentally as well as physically. It is entirely dependent on Mother Nature: she has the final say and will humble the strongest, most accomplished open water swimmer on any given day.

I recently spent three weeks in Cape Town on holiday hoping for the perfect day to swim around Cape Point. This was to be one of my preparation swims in my build-up to a Hawaii channel crossing I am planning to do in 2016. Out of the 21 days I was in Cape Town, only one day was looking positive, the day...

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