Having spent many years in the profession of Human Resources, with a focus on Management and Leadership Development I have worked with a number of people and many teams supporting the view, that ‘we are capable of so much more than what we first believe possible’ I have worked with teams and individuals on the concept of goal setting, creating desire and belief, gaining alignment and focus to overcome obstacles and deliver challenging results.
For several years I have practised these concepts in my personal life as well as my professional one and have set myself goals to achieve; goals that at first would appear beyond my capability. I have enjoyed setting these challenges and have been incredibly well supported by colleagues, family and friends with my fundraising too generating, either on my own or with my LE-JOG team, over £40,000 over the last 8 years. However, running a 3hrs 30min marathon, completing the toughest half-ironman or cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats do seem, even to me, slightly more doable than my next goal!
Swimming has always been part of my life, my parents met at Hornchurch Swimming Club and both of them went on to swim for the county – my father made it to the National Championships. It’s rumoured I learnt to swim at the same time I learnt to walk (apparently, I learnt to swim as a way to get back to the steps in order to have another jump – or dive – off the diving board at Walton-on-the Naze), I went on to Swim in national competitions for Essex schools, and now my daughter is enjoying swimming success too, swimming for Northampton Swimming Club.
It’s also worth note that I am from an era (I’ve just turned 40) when channel swimmers had their successful swims televised on Blue Peter and Newsround as well as the 6 O’clock evening news. I can recall the images of a man or woman being covered in goose fat before wading into the sea and being celebrated on the shores of France.
I believe I was about 8 years old when I told Chris Tredget, my class friend, that I too was going to successfully swim the channel one day! – I may or may not have known then how much I meant it, but I do know that flame of hope, desire and belief has burned away inside me for many years!
So, last year I agreed with my wife Christine and daughters Megan and Sarah, that this was the next challenge, the next goal. I started my training in May 2010 and booked my place on the 2nd neap tide in September 2011.
Wish me luck!