As many swimmers who took part in this event know, it really was a rough water challenge series!
It’s fair to say the tricky conditions didn’t stop participants entering the events and leaving their chosen water venues with big smiles and a sense of achievement. This feeling embodied everything the series was about, as many swimmers recognise, swimming in the open water is often more about the mental battle to cope with the conditions on the day and our nerves rather than posting PB’s. Over the course of the series the Surf Swim School organised a number of escorted swims to help our athletes cover the various distances. I can honestly say being in the water with these swimmers was inspirational! Week in week out we watched participants grow in confidence, endurance and technique. By the end of the series a number of athletes had pushed themselves to new limits, swimming further and harder than they ever thought they could..
In these very different and uncertain times it was great to try and continue our passion for swimming as we embrace the ‘new normal’ of our lives. By going to the beach, lake, reservoir or pool, putting on our wetsuits or swimsuit, as we have been doing for years, we enjoyed the simple pleasure of swimming and pushing our bodies and minds. As athletes we generally like routine, escaping the every day stresses for a few hours once a week to train in the water has a healing effect on coaches and participants alike.
When the series was conceptualised we wanted to set weekly challenges to push our athletes, whether in distance, the body of water you swim in or conditions. Motivating ourselves physically and mentally to simply do more or try to do it faster. The challenges were to be open for all abilities, ages and families. As the series progressed it was great to hear the chat change from nerves on event 1, “…do you think I will be able to swim 1km? to, ” when is the next event I can enter?” and, ” how many events do I need to enter to earn the T shirt?”
I think it’s fair to say everyone who took part in the event will have their own highlights reel. For me, it’s always the same, seeing swimmers having fun in the water and being safe. It was great to see people pushing themselves and achieving things they never thought possible; we had children swimming faster then their parents; swimmers finishing in the dark determined to complete their 5km; swimmers not giving up in very tricky sea conditions and finding the mental strength to finish when the body and mind were screaming take the easy route on stop! As organisers of the event we couldn’t have asked for more, well maybe a few flat/calm days at the beach! Hopefully everyone who took part enjoyed it as much as we did. We would like to thank each and every one of you for taking part, embracing all of the challenges and motivating each other to keep going when things got tough.
The evening on Sunday 11th October is a way to celebrate you. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!
Stay safe and swim safely within your limits.
The Rough Water Challenge Series will be back in 2021 and you can keep up to date with the next events by keeping an eye on our dedicated series Facebook or Instagram accounts. This link will also take you to the latest information.