Why swimming can take you to a whole new place…


August 2008, at age 59, I was prescribed pills for cholesterol and was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic.

Instead of taking the tablets, I chose to exercise. First day in the pool, I swam 12 meters and stopped puffing and panting. I persevered and, within three months, did 112 laps (2.8k), non-stop, backstroke in just under 2 hours. Then I decided to do breastroke. I gradually learnt to breathe properly during breastroke, but always used a sort of a butterfly kick as this served me well with my monofinning, yet another sport I learnt in the past five years, along with basic windsurfing, land windsurfing, SUP and flying 3m power kites. I swam 2.8k non-stop breaststroke many times in the pool in under two hours. I have not done long distances recently, and instead, focussed on learning freestyle and recently managed to do 50m in the pool, non stop in under a minute.

I take no pills, other than fish oil for my knees and occassional vitamin C!

After watching the Harbour Crossing and King of the Bays many times in the past few years, this year I decided to take the plunge and Give it a Go. I have done a few swims parallel to the beach in Milford and Takapuna, last few days with my wetsuit but am still a bit nervous. Hopefully, I will keep myself relaxed on Saturday and complete the 300m.

Thank you for all the support. Happy for my story to be published if it will encourage others to exercise and improve their health.