Sian reflects on swimming the English Channel with the Bluetit 1 Channel Relay Swim Team

Sian reflects on swimming the English Channel with the Bluetit 1 Channel Relay Swim Team

I was expecting the English Channel crossing to be a challenge but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so brutal physically and mentally. I was preparing myself for how it might feel if we didn’t make it across as I am quite aware that extreme challenges, especially those that are dependent on the weather conditions, can throw all sorts of spanners in the works, no matter how hard you have trained for them.

Initially I was merely relieved when we touched French sand. Tiredness and
the waining adrenaline meant there was nothing left in the tank to feel anything other than sheer relief. The following day I woke up realising I and my team members were channel relay swimmers, and the joy was overwhelming. I honestly thought any stranger who saw me in the street would instantly recognise me as a channel relay swimmer.

I went out into Deal and told everyone and anyone what we had achieved and the response was phenomenal.

Before the channel I always considered myself to be quite an ordinary human...albeit a brave, daring one, willing to have a go at some event or challenge that I was never sure I would complete, but basically just like any other human would, I thought.

Post channel success I am walking a little taller buoyed up by my inspirational team mates. For the first tine ever this challenge wasn’t just all about me and my personal ability to keep swimming, it was about the mental and physical strength of a team of 7 people and their ability to keep going when faced with many adversities.

I experienced the highs and lows a team event can throw at you and how collectively we got through 17 hours and 24 minutes by helping and encouraging each other.

I have always advocated that with the help and support from people who love and believe in you the seemingly impossible has the potential to become possible. You don’t conquer the channel, it deserves much more respect than that. With good training, the knowledge of your chosen pilot, true grit and determination, and yes, a little bit of luck, you make it across its unforgiving water stroke by stroke, and if today is your day you touch France and say thank you to the weather gods and
whoever else is watching over you for allowing you the honour of being able to say you are an English Channel relay swimmer.

Sian xx

Click here to watch a short video capturing this amazing achievement

The team raised over £4,500 towards The Bluetits Swim Safety programme - if you want to sponsor them you can head here to do that.

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