When something impossible, becomes a ridiculous idea, and then becomes a dream and after weeks of training becomes a reality… last week I swam the Robben Island Crossing and I loved it. Every second of it. Just over a year ago a friend invited me to join her at Open Water swimming, to be honest I couldn’t believe it, but after a couple of weeks I could swim a mile, and I heard some of the gals talking about Robben Island… and I started to think that if they could do it, then so could I… crazy I know!!!
After a week of howling wind and what felt like days of waiting for the sea to calm and the temperature to warm up to something we could handle… we woke up to the most perfect day… it wasn’t flat, but there were no white horses, so really very good to go. After leaving home at 4:30 in the morning, I was really ready for this… Rubber Ducks took us to the Island, and our challenge was to swim to the shore.
Every swimmer has their own reason for doing this challenge, this was our team of first timers… I can’t think of a rational reason why, other than I seem to set myself up to do the impossible over and over again. The fact is that the whole time I was thinking what a massive privilege it is to swim across the open ocean… who gets to swim out there and just revel in that wide open expanse… the water below you, the water around you… just the most incredible privilege.
The thing that was worrying me the most, and had been worrying me all along, was not the long swim so much as the start. There is a little swim from the boat to standing on the island. I was worried that I would get into the cold water and thinking that I couldn’t do it… just want to get back into the boat.
It turns out by the time I got to the start I was so keen to get going that I didn’t even notice the cold.
I was ready to swim and I was ready to go.
As I got going I discovered that this was something that I wanted to do so badly, that I couldn’t help loving it along the way. There was a bank of mist that we had to swim through… it was the hardest stretch really, because swimming and swimming and you have no idea if you are making any progress…
Feed stops every half an hour and a fabulous support crew that kept saying: “You are doing great, keep going…” Meant that I didn’t really think of stopping… and as we cleared the mist into the most glorious sunshine, I was told I had about 2km to go… At that stage I was so excited to just swim for the beach.
Turns out I swam much faster than I expected, way faster than I told family and friends and I landed on the beach before they even got there…
I can also say that… My goodness it has been days and the smile is still stuck on my face… very very happy to have done that…
Massive thank you to my family and friends who joined me on the beach…
To the team from Elemint for all the training and coaching; to Big Bay Events for the fantastic support on the day; and of course my Balega Impi buddies for always encouraging me and supporting me through all the crazy ideas I have and turning my dreams into reality.
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 the Beach Co-Op, throughout my training. An absolutely massive thank you to all our friends and family that have supported my GivenGain Project, I am blown away by your kindness. I wish I knew how to navigate the site so that I could send every funder a personal email. If I haven’t contacted you… I have truly tried.
I have until the end of the year to fulfil the GivenGain goal, anyone who would like to add to the project can click on the red link above or use the image below.