Tuesday, January 15, 2013


For the third year a group of my biggest fellas friends are getting together and swimming the 1km Cole Classic Ocean Swim to raise money for the Kids Cancer Project, a cause close to the hearts of some dear friends.  I'll be chatting about this soon, but please do go and look at this and you'll understand why it's important to a very wide circle of my peeps.

This year, for the first time, my son Will is toeing the start line with his mates, and their younger sisters.  Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, our family think that we're not "good swimmers".  I know for a fact The Husband isn't (too much worry about contact lenses I secretly think) and as for me,  if there is a old woman slowly breaststroking in a bright floral cap, with her zimmer frame resting near the pool edge, she would be faster than me, and probably managed an overtaking manoeuvre to get past me in my preferred Ultra-Slow swimmer lane.  It's just the way we roll.

But you also know that for me it's all about getting out there and doing it, regardless of how and where we end up in the pack.  You have a choice, it's simple - you either do or you don't.

I like to "do".

I swam last year, the first time in many events I was a smidge tempted to pull out, the washing machine I swam in, with bodies swimming on top of me in both directions, made me lose my nerve big time, and in the water there's nowhere to pull up and get your equilibrium (and nerve) back.  Still, I kept going, and ran proudly up onto the beach.  So I know what's in store for him this year and where he needs to be.  Last year I forced  encouraged him to run a 7km Fun Run with me, the event was fine, as was most of the training, but it was an exercise in persuasion, incentive building, and goal setting, with every run we did "Mate if you can run to the white car, we'll walk for a minute", "How far to go Mum?" , "Not far, maybe another 20 5 minutes!".  This year, our training has taken place in the pool, which I think is a much more peaceful experience for him as he can't listen to me, and I can't actually nag him.  It's just 50 metres after 50 metres of blue water and black line with an occasional "You go first this time" or "that's 800, only 200 left to go" to each other.

We get out of the pool, and with the adrenalin still pumping, knowing he's done his exercise for the day and that he can swim the distance he needs to, he happily heads to the car.  He always is a little pumped and says things like "That was great Mum, I like swimming together"which always makes my heart swell.  We've done a few ocean swims as practice, which is terrifying for both of us, but I know I need to freak him out with the things that freak me out, so he won't be freaked out on the day.  These are more like old times, with little breaks and words of encouragement from me and reassurance that he's cool from him.

But the best thing of all, is when we're swimming along side each other, in a quiet bubble of contentment and compainionship.  With every other breath we can see each other, we're reassured, we're focused, And we're in the ocean which has to be one of life's most natural highs - ocean swimming if you haven't tried it should be on your Bucket List. And now as his team is training together in the ocean, I watch as he swims along side his mates, and pushes himself to keep up.  I'm not close to him now, he's swimming in the pack and I'm swimming on the edge. But I've always got his back.

I'm proud of my son for doing.


  1. It's so good for him to do something that's tough, that he doesn't know if he can finish. It's going to make him strong and will give him such a sense of self-belief that he can draw on in testing times in his life. That's why I love sport so much.

    1. Thanks Char, you're absolutely right, he is growing each day - I'm not sure if it's this, his confidence or the fabulous age him and his friends are at where they feel a little like the world is their oyster. Long may it continue I say!