I’m beyond excited because I’m days away from crossing off a bucket list item that I’ve wanted to do for a long time – but it’ll take a flight to Australia, three beavers and kiwi to pull it off!\
“What the heck are you talking about, Stephanie?!”
I’m glad you asked!
On February 24th I will be taking part in the Rottnest Channel Swim. You may have heard me talking about this over the past month. Check out our last blog to learn more about what the Rottnest swim is all about.
Our team – Three Beavers and a Kiwi – consists of me, two friends and my younger sister, Erica, who is an old pro at this. She has done this swim a total of 6 times!
Swimming is an incredible sport and I’ve been doing it from an early age. It all started when I received an invitation to a bring-your-friend-to-swim day. I loved it! It took me from being a sad, lonely girl in elementary school and opened my eyes to a whole new world.
As kids, Erica wanted to tag along with me at the pool. It didn’t take long for her to get bitten by the swimming bug, too.
Both Erica and I became part of the Hawkesbury Orca Swim Team.
I then began swimming competitively which I did all through high school and university and from there played water polo.
I’ve had so many great experiences in life because of that one invitation I accepted from a friend way back in elementary school.
And now it’s bring me one more – swimming the Rottnest Channel!
When I’m asked what it is I’m most excited about when it comes to this swim, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing. I think it’s every aspect of the overall experience – being out in a boat, swimming in the huge ocean with all the other participants and, of course, to be able to say, “I did it!”
I get a lot of different reactions when I tell people about Rottnest especially when I mention the distance I’ll be swimming – but there are ways to make any swim more comfortable.
The idea of an open water swim, especially a long distance, might sound overwhelming at first but there are ways to ease into it.
Here are 6 of my top tips for a smoother journey into open water swimming:
1. Get comfortable swimming double the distance you aim to swim in your open water swim by practicing in the pool first.
2. Learn to sight with ease in the pool before heading to open water.
3. Paddle your swim first to get a good feel for water temperature, water colour, idea of the depth at different spots, currents and best places to start and land.
4. Force yourself to start out slow (you will be swimming faster than you think because of adrenaline) and concentrate on the sky, not the depth of the water.
5. Have a paddler follow you & wear a MyFloat.
6. Make a planned stop at the mid-point of your swim, turn on your back and enjoy the view of the sky while you take a little breather. Start again when you feel refreshed!
(Check out the video below for some tips I recorded over the summer in Nove Scotia!)
Want to follow our adventures?
Check out the Aqua Life Swim Academy’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and keep your eyes peeled for our #YOWSwimsRotto and #YOWinOz posts. Starting February 24, we’ll be running a 10 day giveaway of some unique Australian prizes we’ve picked up during our trip!
Pssst…. the grand prize for this contest is a year of FREE swim lessons. Don’t miss your chance to enter.