Something Great wasn’t Easy

Earlier this week I gave a talk as part of the excellent Heroes of Mobile event in Leeds.

The talk was called ‘Nothing Great is Easy’ and provided lessons for business learnt from open water [particularly channel] swimming.

Photo by Lizzie Jordan of Yello Story

It seemed to be well received and to go well – it’s often hard to tell when you’re stood at the front of the room, but there were lots of interested questions from the group.

Thanks to Helen for inviting me, to Lloyd for facilitating the sessions and to aql for sponsoring it. The day finished with a Swedish Beers event, so some memories are a little hazy!

Now for more book writing!



Present for Xmas 2015

So now that Xmas is over it’s time to take stock and plan for 2015.

For those training for big sporting events, it’s now time to plan the training schedule and think forward to the rewards (rather than thinking about how cold it will be when you get up before the rest of the house). If you’re in business then you are probably planning your goals for 2015 and how you will achieve them.

You might even have got some presents from Santa to help you with this.

If you didn’t, you could buy yourself a present for Xmas 2015* that would help with both sporting and business targets, planning and successes. The book I’m writing will help you with all of this and you can pre-order your copy here:

Go on, treat yourself.

*At this stage I can’t guarantee publication by Xmas 2015.

Hellespont, Here I Come

One of my target swims for next year is Hellespont, which is the famous swim in Turkey in which you cross from the European continent to the Asian continent.

Photo blatantly stolen from the SwimTrek website.

Photo blatantly stolen from the SwimTrek website.

It’s a swim that has always captured my imagination as an iconic international swim. It is also a great place to meet international swimmers and to see if they can share some of the experiences that I have with regards to the links between open water swimming and business – or perhaps even more usefully, learn from their different experiences.

So I’m delighted to say that I’ve booked the swim for next August already.

I’ve booked to go with the excellent SwimTrek (I did their Long Distance Training camp in April of this year), so I know that all the organisation will be second to none. Most importantly I know that I’ll have a place in the event itself – which, with it being in Turkey was always going to be difficult for me to organise the logistics of.

As SwimTrek describes the trip:

“One of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is closed to traffic for the annual ‘Victory Day’ race between two continents as you swim from Europe to Asia. This is a unique opportunity to swim across the Dardanelles. Entries are strictly limited so be quick to secure a place on this memorable event.

The Hellespont is steeped in mythology. Leander would swim nightly to his beloved Hero across this stretch of water. However, we will make the crossing by day and won’t have to rely on Hero’s torch to guide the way! The poet, Lord Byron became the first known person to swim the Hellespont in 1810.”

I’ll tell you more about it along the way…

Open for Sponsorship

No matter what happens with the crowdfunding project for my book, I will be doing a lot of swimming next year. I will also be doing a lot of blogging.

I accept that I probably won’t win many trophies and will never be the best swimmer, but actually because of that I am probably more of a true representation of the ‘average’ open water swimmer.

I’m a member of the British Long Distance Swimming Association (BLDSA) and will be attending as many of their events as possible. I’m also a member of the awesome virtual team TeamBear and will be meeting, cheering and supporting as many of them as possible.

I’m active on social media – my personal blog has nearly 200 followers and I have over 1,800 followers on Twitter.

On top of all of that, I still plan to write the book no matter what happens with the crowdfunding.

Based on all of that, I think I’m a pretty good potential advocate for any swimming brand – or more to the point, why don’t you sponsor me?

If you manufacture goggles, trunks, towels, swim hats, robes, nutrition (although I can be a bit picky as I’m on a gluten-free diet), bags or any other swimming-related stuff, then please get in touch – or just go to the crowdfunding site and sign up as a sponsor. I’ll love you lots, wear your kit, tell everyone I meet how great you are and blog about it too 🙂

A Great Swimming Season

As well as considering how open water swimming applies to business, I do also sometimes just swim. This year I’ve actually swum quite a lot. Yesterday I did a quick summary of the season on my personal blog. I’m reposting it here.

– – –

The open water season is over – or at least it is for me, I don’t swim in lakes and seas when it gets proper cold. So it’s time to look back on the season and see how it’s gone and what I’ve achieved.

I could write a lot of words about this – but I think this photo is a great summary.

The season's haul

From the back, left to right we have:

– Windermere certificate and swim hat – a tough, tough swim for me, but still another 10.5 miles under my belt and I can start to see it as more of a learning experience now.

– Colwick Park certificate and swim hat – the first event of the season and I can’t say I enjoyed the swim (probably due to poor nutrition), but it was a lovely and local day for me.

– Coniston certificate and swim hat – I always like Coniston, it’s just a beautiful swim.

Wykeham Lakes certificate (x2) and swim hat – a 5km swim, followed a little later by a 1km swim, hence the two certificates.

– SwimTrek hat – provided as part of the Long Distance Training course I did with them in April in Mallorca. A great, GREAT trip and I met some amazing swimmers.

– 100% swimming hat – provided by Paul of 100% swimming as we sat and chatted one day at Activities Away.

– French pebble – probably my most treasured swimming possession. A memento of the channel relay I did in July and although I didn’t collect the pebble myself, I will do one day.

Not a bad season all told.