So, a little late, where does that leave me? With a few reflections, I guess. First of all, that I have a tendency to expect that things will be worse than they actually turn out to be. I expected to find the swimming much harder than I did, the lack of sleep much tougher to deal with, the mental challenge more difficult. In the event, I was very well equal to all of it, and this has been the case with most of the swimming challenges I’ve dealt with in my time, with two notable exceptions. So I need to remember that in the future, and hope that I’m not facing a Channel relay or a Brownsea Island. On the upside, my worries did mean that I prepared very well, which clearly helped me in terms of how I dealt with the physical challenges.

Then there was my final mile swimming with Ruth.  I’m a competitive person, with a tendency to want to beat people, and in the past I might have tried to race Ruth and beat her to the finish. But in the event swimming next to her and loving our synchronisation, warming and supporting each other, and celebrating together at the end was so much more satisfying. Nor did it lack a sense of victory, as we shared our delight at having successfully completed the challenge. Beating people can be fun but it’s a momentary triumph whereas a sense of shared joy and satisfaction is not only better in the moment but lasts for far longer and strengthens the relationship between those who experience it. Something for me to take away into my daily life, I think. 

And that’s it! In the post-event euphoria a couple of us considered doing solos in next year’s event – no, not 2Swim4Life, but a different format where soloists must swim a kilometre an hour for twelve hours during the course of the day. I reckon I could do that, especially if I had my buddy swimming next to me! What do you think, Ruth?  😉