Many swimmers have attempted to swim across the English Channel. However, there are many that failed while doing so. Some decided to press on and try again, while others felt that it wasn’t worth another go. Swimming across the English Channel is a true test of endurance, strength and willpower. For Peter Taylor of Tower Hill, Dorking, the swim was also in memory of a friend who died of motor neurone disease.
The 41 year old completed the 21-mile swim from Dover to Calais in a total of 13 hours and 24 minutes. By doing so, he also managed to raise more than £4,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. As mentioned, this mission was in memory of his university friend Ben Bird, who died at the age of 38 during 2010. “I was probably over-confident after my preparation, thinking that I would be able to do it easily. I had been training for up to seven hours at a time through most of the summer, but I had never gone for more than that. People talk about hitting the wall, and that caused me mental and physical pain. It made me doubt my ability to finish and all I could think about was getting out of the water. I could see France, but it was only a little speck on the horizon and every time I turned around I could see the white cliffs of Dover,” explained Peter.
A couple of times throughout his swim, he was on the brink of giving up. In fact, he even ended up arguing with his support crew, who refuse to let him stop. When Peter finally reached dry land, it was already about 5pm. After which, he spent the next two hours getting his body temperature back to normal before reflecting on his achievement. “The last 100 metres before I hit the rocks were the slowest 100 metres I have ever done. I expected some form of enjoyment but I didn’t really get that, just relief. I am absolutely never ever going to do anything like that ever again. The pain and the cold were so severe,” he described.
Although he was previously a member of the Dorking Swimming Club, he still felt that nothing could have gotten him ready for such a gruelling Channel swim. “I have been a swimmer for years, and when you swim a length in the pool you finish and think ‘my lungs hurt and my arms hurt. But that is kindergarten stuff compared to what these endurance swimmers go through. I had no idea, but now I know,” he mentioned. Read the full story here.
Endurance swimming is definitely no easy task. Even the best still do face trouble with it as noone is able to predict the conditions of the open water. For Swimming Lessons in Singapore, check out Happy Fish Swim School. We also offer Competitive Swimming Training for those who are looking to better themselves.