This week we are featuring Anne Steel's story, Anne will be raising money swimming the Length of Loch Earn. If you are undertaking a challenge this year please let us know by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
The 8th of August will mark 10 years since I successfully swam the English Channel, fulfilling a lifetime dream at the age of 39. Running up onto the French shore after 10 hours 58 minutes and 48 km’s swum; battling my mind, tides, currents and jellyfish stings was a dream come true. The channel crossing was the easy part. The 18 months of intense training, leading up to the swim, was hard work. Swimming between 40 to 80km’s a week was intense together with juggling mother and work commitments To mark this anniversary, I am returning to the U.K to swim the length of Loch Earn, Scotland. A much shorter distance than the channel, colder water and fresh water as opposed to saltwater. My love of swimming has taken me to places all over the world and my recent adventure to the Maldives, thanks to Swimtrek, introduced me to a crazy Scot, Susie Johnston. Some people you meet in your life you feel you have known a lifetime and you instantly connect. Susie just happened to be one of those people. She floated the idea of coming and competing with her in the Loch Earn race with no wetsuit, a chance I jumped at.
Training for this event has not been an easy task. Winter has hit in Tasmania and the water temperature has dropped from 16 degrees to 8.5 degrees since February. With the air temperature struggling to reach double figures, it isn’t a pleasurable undertaking. I am still managing to hit the water in just bathers and one cap and am determined to keep this going until I fly out to Scotland. The time in the open water is becoming less as the temperature drops and the km’s in the pool are beginning to build. 10 years older makes training so much harder so it’s a matter of training smarter than when I trained for the channel and listening to what my body is telling me.
The goal I have set myself is not only to mark my channel anniversary, but to take me back to my dear Dad's homeland who played such a significant role in my swimming career. Dad was born in Duns and lived in Allanton. I am forever grateful that after my channel swim we visited the places he grew up and spent his time. Even though he is no longer with us, I know Dad will be swimming Loch Earn with me in spirit.
Finally, swimming Loch Earn has also been a catalyst to raise awareness and funds for Melanoma Tasmania. 5 years ago, a routine skin check saw a suspicious "freckle" which looked perfectly normal to the naked eye be biopsied. Having had numerous basal cell carcinomas and the occasional squamous cell carcinomas removed over the years, the word "melanoma" did not enter my head. We all think we are invincible and it won't happen to us. A phone call from my specialist days later revealed a malignant melanoma diagnosis. I had to go in for surgery to remove the melanoma and its surrounding margins and then wait for further results to see what the prognosis was. I was one of the lucky ones and know that now. Because of my routine skin checks, it was picked up before it had permeated the deeper layers of the skin and was fully removed. Scotland and Tasmania share similar incidences of Melanoma. I encourage you all to get your skin checked!
Loch Earn is going to hard, it will challenge me in ways I had not anticipated I’m sure. But it’s a challenge I am prepared to face head on and give it my best shot.
Please note that due to water quality Sunday sessions will be a Pilmuir Quarry until further notice.
Summer has officially started ........ we will be at Pilmuir Quarry on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30/6:45pm and will continue our Sunday swim sessions at Bardowie Loch on a Sunday morning, in the water from 10am. Please also note that Friday nights at Pilmuir are on hold over the holiday period due to low numbers.
Since this will be the official start to the 2017 season our new 2017 prices will apply, however if you purchase a card swim for 5 or more swims you will still be able to get your swim at last years prices !! Click here to purchase a Swim Card