It’s that time of the year again when the final race of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series is near. Many races have been swum, many laps and strokes have been turned over in the training pool and many Eggs Bennies have been consumed. Well, I’ve consumed a lot of Eggs Benny in the last six months anyway.
Friendships throughout the series have been made, friendly rivalries fought and many goals and fears have been conquered. And although the euphoria of finishing each race to the best of one’s ability is still pulsing through the body, a lingering sense of frustration may be present – after all, winter is coming. So what happens next?
For some, resolutions will be fresh in the mind and the motivation to progress, to get fitter and to reach further heights will be excitingly overbearing. For others, the thought of a beer, a burger and not seeing the sun rise through a pair of goggles while swimming in a straight line repeatedly for a good six months will hit the sweet spot.
Unless you’re a Polar Bear and love being in cold air temperatures and cold water, training over the winter period can sometimes seem arduous, and if a goal isn’t to be met for some time then it can even feel a little pointless. Yet keeping a baseline of fitness makes the summer months that much easier! If swimming through winter isn’t your thing then doing dryland workouts like weights, Pilates or Yoga are great ways to keep strength and flexibility. While running, riding a bike or participating in some other form of cardio is great for the endurance come those ‘I’m Going Long’ rounds.
The important thing is to continue to have fun with whatever keeps you busy. Some will have the magnificent opportunity as I will to travel the world and chase the summer while swimming in iconic locations – for this we should be truly gracious.
At this point I’d like to thank Scott and Natasha Rice along with Simon and Lauren at Quantum Events, the outstanding series sponsors as well as the countless volunteers at each round for the opportunity to swim in some of New Zealand’s, if not the world’s most beautiful locations. I’ve had an incredible time jet setting and exploring the country as you’ll see in my video!
Thank you to Jetstar NZ for so generously allowing me to pass my knowledge back to the weekend warriors, the hardened ocean swimming athletes and the new generation of swimming hopefuls to help build our beloved sport and for creating awareness of this magnificent event that allows us to be one with the ocean and its marine life. Flying Jetstar has been outstanding!
A big thank also goes your way – to the readers. Feel free to wander back through this blog series and refine your skills for the final race and if you see me on the beach don’t hesitate to say hello – I love to spin a yarn. Follow my adventures at www.michaelsheil.blogspot.com
I look forward to mingling with you all after the final event and to the Jetstar Super Swim Squad in April where I’ll get to properly meet all of the young and upcoming stars!
For now, sit back and enjoy a quick recap (see if you can spot yourself running across the line) of my recent 32 hour return trip from the Gold Coast to Mt Maunganui for the Sand to Surf courtesy of the good people at Jetstar.