Posts filed under ‘Week 09’

16/11/08 [63]: vote for Archie

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totals: 63 days, 1136 lengths, 280 lengths to go, £500.00 sponsorship

A Sunday afternoon swim today and because of this the indoor pool was very busy so I went outside and put in the equivalent of 24 lengths. I am now into the last 20% of the swim and should be through in about nine more sessions. The main thing I need to guard against now is the feeling that I am already there and so I can ease off, but if I think back to the start of the challenge and the effort that went into the first 20% of the swim then this should keep me going.

I don’t have any swimming related comments to make today but occasionally you see something that makes you smile and this has happened to me over the last few days and so I thought I would share this instead. Every year, the local newspaper in Plymouth, The Herald, runs a competition called Baby of the Year. For this competition, the babies don’t actually have to do anything except have their photograph taken and look cute so it’s not much of a competition really. Imagine how much more interesting it would be if there were various rounds that the babies had to compete in. One round could be to see how many valuable ornaments each baby can break in a 10 minute spree around their house. Then there could be the noise round, where the baby that made the loudest noise would win the most points. There could be a poo production round and, of course, a round in which the babies have to try to deprive their parents of as much sleep as possible over a one week period. The finale could be a round in which the babies have to try to be sick over an adult in the most embarrassing way possible without the adult noticing. That would be much more interesting surely. Anyway, in the competition this year there are hundreds and hundreds of babies and the local paper has produced a supplement in which there are pictures of all the entrants grinning out at the reader. It is really quite an extraordinary summary of the productivity of Plymouth over the last year or two… Now I am not actually going to vote, but if I was, then my vote would go to baby number 2137, an entrant in the 10-18 month age group. I have selected him not because he is the cutest, or the funniest looking, or the most smiley, or the one with the most interesting hair, or because he is a distant relation or the baby of a friend (he’s not, I have no idea who he is or where he is from), but because I absolutely love his name – Archie Pickles. So if you do fancy voting (unfortunately it’s not an online competition) and can’t decide who to select, vote for Archie…

One last thing – here’s the timswim worm, progressing upwards faster than the Indian cricket team’s score against England last week, and that’s saying something:

timswim worm Week 9

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November 16, 2008 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

14/11/08 [61]: £500 and counting

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totals: 61 days, 1112 lengths, 304 lengths to go, £500.00 sponsorship

Wow – I was going to write a bit today about how my efforts here seem to be serving as an inspiration for others to get into the pool, but after 32 lengths this morning I have just logged on to write today’s entry, checked my Just Giving page, and discovered that the sponsorship total has been bumped up the £500 mark (thanks Matthew). When I set out on this challenge I didn’t really have any idea how much money I might raise so I plucked the figure of £500 out of thin air. It seemed large enough to be useful and a challenge to achieve but small enough not to result in inevitable failure. Early on in the challenge my children kept telling me that the total would never reach £500 (thanks kids…) but it has steadily climbed and thanks to everyone’s generosity we’ve made it. So now every donation is a bonus – I’ll keep putting in the lengths up to my target and all of you can see how much you can smash the sponsorship target by. So, here are five hundred £s:

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November 14, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

12/11/08 [59]: lost my bottom

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totals: 59 days, 1080 lengths, 336 lengths to go, £469.00 sponsorship

32 lengths this morning amidst a rather crowded pool and with one lady in particular who seemed determined to annoy me by continuously cutting across other people as they swam. I have decided that enough is enough now and I just need to get this challenge over and done with. So it’s time to be strong, not to give in to temptation at 06.45 in the morning and keep hammering out the lengths.

Yesterday, I wrote briefly about the physical and mental changes that I have experienced since starting this challenge and so it should be time to move on and write about something else. However, today I feel compelled to continue on the similar theme. Last night, I was standing at the kitchen sink about to do the washing-up. My wife was sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying a glass of wine (that’s what it’s like in our household – poor old me slaving away all the time whilst the rest of the family live a life of luxury and leisure…#) when suddenly her hand went to her mouth to stifle an exclamation of surprise. “You’ve lost your bottom” she cried. Well, what is a man to do when put under such pressure. Lost my bottom? How careless I must have been… I’ll have to get the combined might of Trinny, Susanna AND Gok Wan to cover that one up.

(# only joking dearest…)

November 12, 2008 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

11/11/08 [58]: confidence

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totals: 58 days, 1048 lengths, 368 lengths to go, £458.74 sponsorship

Another 30 lengths this morning after a slightly delayed start. I’m not too worried about going beyond 30 lengths in the sessions this week because there is a chance that I will swim every day and so the overall total for the week should end up pretty huge.

A while back I wrote about the physical changes that I have noticed since I have been working towards this challenge. These changes have continued, to the point where I now look at myself in the mirror and actually think that I look quite thin (especially my legs). Overall my mass (weight) hasn’t really changed but clearly a lot of the floppy stuff (which there wasn’t really that much of in the first place) has been turned into harder stuff by all this exercise. In addition to the physical changes though, there have also been some mental changes. In particular, quite early on in the challenge I found that I felt more confident and this feeling has continued. It is interesting that having this additional general purpose, which involves some physical sacrifice, some mental strength and makes a small contribution to society is enough to bring about this change. Certainly I have felt more willing to confront issues at work and more determined to maintain a general sense of purpose in every aspect of my life and I do attribute that, at least in part, to the Aspire Channel Swim.

November 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm Leave a comment

10/11/08 [57]: water everywhere

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totals: 57 days, 1018 lengths, 398 lengths to go, £448.74 sponsorship

30 lengths this morning in slightly scrappy, Monday morning, fashion but these have taken me past two good milestones. I have now completed over 1000 lengths (25km) and have under 400 to go. Today though there is really only one thing that I can comment on and that is the continuous flow of water out of the sky. It is wet, wet, wet today. In fact as I write this entry (at 10.36) 15.8mm of rain have fallen since midnight last night. You might wonder how I can be so precise with this figure… but it is simple really, you just have to know where to look for the information, and for Plymouth weather information there is no better place than the live weather information provided by the University of Plymouth right here. Of course, by the time you read this entry either more rain will have fallen today and the figure will be higher or it will be a different day altogether… If you’d like to see what Plymouth looks like at the moment then the BBC Devon web-cam gives you a view across Plymouth Sound – currently you can’t see much though, apart from the water on the camera lens cover!

November 10, 2008 at 11:41 am Leave a comment


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