After a year of talking about it and what feels like months of training for it, I am finally ready and good to go. I mentioned The Robben Island Crossing a couple of weeks back, I have been dreaming about it for a while, is finally here and we are just waiting for Cape Town’s weather to play along with us. In the next couple of days our swim is on. My bag is not yet packed, it should be, I am notoriously bad at packing. But excitement is high. I just can’t wait.
Let’s Talk About The Crossing
This is an iconic swim in Cape Town, from Robben Island to Big Bay Beach, all the while with the most beautiful view of Table Mountain. The water is a crispy Atlantic Ocean and it is 7.5km, as the crow flies, and I am really looking forward to it. I am doing my swim with Big Bay Events. Early in the morning they take you in a rubber duck, across to the island and then you swim back to shore. It isn’t an easy swim… firstly, weather conditions have to be perfect, secondly, did I mention the cold Atlantic. Anyway, I have been looking forward to doing this, I can’t say it is a dream come true… because this is bigger than anything that I ever imagined I could do. This is way, way bigger than a dream for me. You can read more about the Robben Island Crossing on the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association Website.
The Elemint Team
I have been swimming with the team from Elemint for the last year and a bit, ever since a friend invited me to join them. Swimming is definitely a team sport and requires a buddy system, just for safety’s sake. The great thing about swimming in a team is that you can depend on each other, you can encourage each other and there is always someone nearby to say, “this is a completely normal and understandable thing to do,” all the while you are fighting your way through freezing water and a massive swell. I have gone from maybe I could swim a mile in a pool, to a Robben Island Crossing in about a year, it takes a team to build your confidence and keep you moving forwards. The team from Elemint don’t only swim, their gym is the great outdoors, you can find them hiking and running on the trails as well… and its a great way to make friends, and get outdoors, safely with a group of like minded folk.
The Beach Co-op
My kids and I have been doing beach cleanups with the Beach Co-op for years, we love and adore working with them to create a cleaner ocean. Their heart extends far beyond beach cleaning, to educating not just folk about litter, but corporates about taking responsibility for their own waste. The irony is, that the only time I have ever been to Robben Island, was to do a Beach Cleanup with the Beach Co-Op.
I have loved the training. Swimming is not the problem, so much as getting used to the environment around you. Acclimatising to cold water, wild weather and realising that sometimes you have to just swim in a pool… because there is wild and then there is WILD!!! I have to say that the training, has been incremental, little increases every week and with a training programme from Elemint, to guide us it has been a matter of just getting it done. Loads of wild swimming and loving it along the way!!!
The first question almost everyone asks me, when I say that I am a swimmer, is where do I get my bathing costumes from. I can say as a plus size athlete it is impossible to find anything to swim in, in a regular sport store. But I have always found bathing costume success at Oggi Activewear, even when I was pregnant with my kids, years ago, they always had a costume that would fit me. And just last week I was in need of a new swimsuit, was persuaded to try one of their racer-backs, and I will never look back… a great costume for all my swimming needs.
Given Gain Project for the Beach Co-op
I decided to create a GivenGain Project for my swim and I have been raising funds for them, throughout my training. If you would like to support me, and it doesn’t matter how big or small your donation is or what currency you are using… then just click on the red button below.