The English Channel is a unique and demanding swim, considered by many to be the ultimate long distance challenge.
It isn’t just the distance that is the challenge, but more, the variable conditions likely to be encountered, especially in winter. These may vary from calm, mirror-like conditions, to strong wind forces and wave heights in excess of 2 metres.
The water will be bitterly cold, with powerful currents at this time of year and there is a good chance of meeting jellyfish, seaweed and the occasional plank of wood.
If that wasn’t enough, it is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with 600 tankers passing through and 200 ferries and other vessels going across daily.
Channel swimming is not for the faint hearted.
But there is also something extra special about this event…
These swimmers are extraordinary people, who can influence the lives of others, by the sheer example of how they live theirs.
They don’t expect us to understand them. Theirs is an extreme sport with its own special appeal.
But as individuals, we can learn so much from them, which can help us become stronger, in our lives, particularly in terms of mental health.
If only we could appreciate the power of their goals and the energy they have inside; their extraordinary willpower and desire to overcome adversity; their commendable responsibility, consistency, and mental strength, that drives their actions to unimaginable limits.
They have incredible motivation that gives their actions an aura of amazing courage and integrity.
This is what makes up an elite long distance swimmer. This is the mindset that we can look to, as a means of helping us develop improved mental health coping mechanisms.