Graeme Parsons is a forty something man, with a full time career, family and stress, who went back to swimming after 20 years of laziness and fast foods. He loves every minute of being in the ocean, surrounded by the most amazing scenery in the world. In December 2013 he was coerced into swimming the 7.5km Robben Island to Blouberg swim. Unprepared and not knowing what to expect, he conceded and on the 26th of December went and did the swim. “I felt truly blessed and privileged that I was able to do something like this, which got me thinking. And as they say the rest is history. The bug had bitten and I started plotting and planning my English Channel swim.” The catalyst for the swim was a childhood dream as well as an event to raise money for the aquatics team at King Edwards VII High School.
In August 2015, after two years of training, planning and preparing, Graeme’s big day arrived. Unlike swimming in a pool, where you have perfect conditions at all times, with swimming across the Channel you are subject to Mother Nature’s moods and therefore have to wait for your short window in which you can attempt your crossing. Due to weather conditions on the day, Graeme was only given a slot around midnight to start his swim. The pitch dark and icy water conditions played havoc with Graeme’s mental and physical strength. “The elements got the better of me during the swim, and I knew within my heart that I was not going to be able to achieve my goal of crossing the Channel this time,” says Graeme. Graeme was pulled out of the water after just over an hour cold, disorientated, severely sea sick and despondent, but NOT defeated. “It all seemed so surreal! Years of training and teaching my body and mind to cope with the cold and the long time, isolated, in the water and it was over before it had even begun, or so it felt to me. That hour seemed like a lifetime. I had foolishly convinced myself that swimming at night would be peaceful”.
Putting this attempt down as just preparation for the ‘real’ swim and after a short break from swimming training, Graeme is back in the pool and training harder than ever. Graeme is busy planning another go at the English Channel in 2018.
Keep Going Graeme we support you!!!