Over the years I watched and supported Ed at his triathlons, always being around sport even if I never did any. As the years went on, bringing up two children and working, I decided to try to learn to swim and start to jog. Being in my 20's before I learnt to swim, I could manage 1 width of the pool with my head out of the water. My part time job was on Portland, so I bought a second hand bike and started to ride to work......hence the start of my habit of trying to get fit.
I persevered with my swimming and found I loved swimming in the sea, so I entered a couple of open water races which I really enjoyed. Ed put together a swim from Weymouth to Lulworth which is a training swim for anyone wanting to attempt the Channel , one way to Lulworth is 8 miles but many have completed both ways. This swim I will never forget as it was a beautiful sunny calm day and such a lovely thing to do, and after seeing many people complete it, I was now going to be one of them.
I am not really sure how it all came about me swimming the channel, but if I had planned it like so many people do I think I would of backed out, but I had completed all the distances and timed swims needed to swim the English Channel and as part of another race Ed organised I had finished a 10 hr swim along the coast from Westbay to Portland.
Ed knowing the pilots at Dover, he rang up to see if there were any last minute slots available, and Chris Osmond said he had the last slot on the 28 th September 2002 - so Ed basically told me I had 2 weeks before I took on my biggest ever swim two weeks away from my 45 th birthday. I only told my daughter and son what I was about to do, and my good friend Tom Watch who came on the escort boat with Ed. All I can say is I enjoyed every minute/hour I swam in the Channel. It took me 17 hrs 44 minutes, but I was a bit disappointed it took me that long as I was hoping for 15 hrs!!
But that is what the Channel is all about....Endurance !
I don't think it actually sunk in what I had completed until a couple of years later. We have been told that as Ed had completed a solo Channel swim 5 years before me, we are the first married couple to have completed swimming the English Channel.
So to anyone out there thinking about this Blue Ribbon of swims do it....It will forever be in your heart x
Chris, our son, is an ex Royal Marine was bought up around seeing his father get involved with sport and generally enjoying what he was training for. Chris is a physical training instructor for the prison service and he has completed numerous events for his own personal goals and representing the Prison Service in many races, also raising money for different charity's like a 24 treadmill run and a 24 hour indoor triathlon (where the 'swim' was a concept rower). Chris has just now joined the million mile club for concept rowing. What with being a finisher of the Deca / Triple / Double Iron distance triathlons, The GUCR and many more ultra distance races.......but the one he is going back to finish is The Hill which beat him last year.
Chris has seen me complete swimming the Channel and a few other open water swims of which might be another tick in the box for him in the future ! Also my daughter Kathy who may not of completed so much in the way of sport but has gone on to finishing a marathon when she said she was only going to complete 10 miles, and she had not run more than 6 miles and is now bringing up 3 lovely children.
As for me,I have had to stop running due to Arthritis in my left knee but trying to keep up with some fitness in cycling and swimming and enjoy my spinning classes and things like kettlebell/circuits, and generally being interested in what other people are achieving.