Two different swims

Last night I went to see Ray at SwimCanaryWharf again. The summary – some big improvements, but still plenty of work to do.

This morning I went to swim here:

London Aquatic Centre

London Aquatic Centre

It was great to treat myself to a 50m pool and just swim without all those nasty drills that Ray gives me to do!!

I’ll try to get a full review of my experience at the Aquatic centre later, but you could read Simon’s from H2Open in the meantime if you like.

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A great haul

The open water season is over – or at least it is for me, I don’t swim in lakes and seas when it gets proper cold. So it’s time to look back on the season and see how it’s gone and what I’ve achieved.

I could write a lot of words about this – but I think this photo is a great summary.

The season's haul

From the back, left to right we have:

- Windermere certificate and swim hat – a tough, tough swim for me, but still another 10.5 miles under my belt and I can start to see it as more of a learning experience now.

- Colwick Park certificate and swim hat – the first event of the season and I can’t say I enjoyed the swim (probably due to poor nutrition), but it was a lovely and local day for me.

- Coniston certificate and swim hat – I always like Coniston, it’s just a beautiful swim.

- Wykeham Lakes certificate (x2) and swim hat – a 5km swim, followed a little later by a 1km swim, hence the two certificates.

- SwimTrek hat – provided as part of the Long Distance Training course I did with them in April in Mallorca. A great, GREAT trip and I met some amazing swimmers.

- 100% swimming hat – provided by Paul of 100% swimming as we sat and chatted one day at Activities Away.

- French pebble – probably my most treasured swimming possession. A memento of the channel relay I did in July and although I didn’t collect the pebble myself, I will do one day.

Not a bad season all told.

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This may be foolish…

… but here goes.

After a quick Twitter mention of this tweet (http://twitter.com/SkyNewsBreak/status/532960564340064256) by a friend of mine I drafted this.

I’m a little conflicted by all the Ched Evans stuff.

In no way do I support him, or what he did.

But he’s done his time according to the legal system and in theory should be allowed to work again. I’m not sure if a lot of this is down to the fact that his work is getting incredibly well paid for kicking a pig skin around – if he worked in a shop or a factory would we care as much?

That’s not to say that the legal system might not need changing and that his sentence may well not have been long enough. Nor is to say that, from what I’ve read, he’s not a nice person and I wouldn’t want to work next to him (nor have him represent the team I support). But if we stopped all the ‘not nice’ people playing football we’d only have enough professional players left to fill one team.
Btw – I’m very open to discussing this further and modifying my opinion…
*Dons tin hat and prepares for the brickbats*

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Is iMessage Broken on iOS8?

I waited to upgrade to iOS8 on purpose. I wanted to give it a few weeks for the kinks to be ironed out. It seems I didn’t wait enough.

I upgraded at the end of last week and then over the weekend tried to send a few messages. It at least I thought I’d sent them.

I wrote them, hit send, but nothing. They clearly didn’t arrive, but looking back at my messages they weren’t there either. They had just disappeared.

Fortunately it was nothing too important, just “I’m running late” kind of thing.

However this morning I discovered that messages haven’t been received by me either.

Previously with iMesage you could ‘force’ to send your message as a regular text message if you wanted to – but that option has gone, certainly if the message has just disappeared.

So, are there any alternatives to iMesage? Or perhaps more importantly, is there a way for me to just send a ‘normal’ text message?

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I’m writing a book – Open For Business: business advice from a fresh [water] perspective.

Please check out my crowdfunding site to pre-order a copy – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

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I’m Gonna Swim the English Channel

I’m hinted and murmured about this for a few months, ever since the successful Channel relay, but I’m going to state it out loud (or write it down at least):

I Will Swim the English Channel

I don’t know when yet, but it now a confirmed entry on my personal to-do list.

Continue reading

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Lego Swimmer

In my group of friends I’m known as ‘the swimmer’. I’m the one that’s always either swimming, or talking about swimming (and soon writing about swimming). So when a friend went to a Lego exhibition on Brick Lane in London the other week, and they had an exhibit that was a swimmer, well he instantly thought of me and took a photo for me.

Lego swimmer

Does it look like me do you think?

I wonder what Ray from SwimCanaryWharf would think of this stroke.

UPDATE

I’ve just gone back to the email that Brian sent to me with the picture attached – he titled it ‘A 1000 bricks in the crawl!’, which is a piece of genius and I wish I’d realised and used it for this blog post!

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I’m writing a book – Open For Business: business advice from a fresh [water] perspective.

Please check out my crowdfunding site to pre-order a copy – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

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It’s started

I had to scrape the car this morning as I got up and set off for my swim.

I’ll let that just sink in.

But for me – that means it is now winter! For those of you not in the UK you might not realise that we’ve had a very, very mild Autumn. In fact, it’s been so warm that we haven’t really had an Autumn. So we’ve gone from summer to winter in the space of about two days.

Brrrr!

On the upside, I got to use my great new bag properly for the first time today.

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I’m writing a book – Open For Business: business advice from a fresh [water] perspective.

Please check out my crowdfunding site to pre-order a copy – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

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Flag Alpha Bag

I was lucky enough to go over to Canada this summer. And as part of the trip I spent a few days in Halifax (I even had a swim there).

Halifax Farmers' Market

Halifax Farmers’ Market

One morning that I was there I went to the farmers’ market to have breakfast (I love going to places like that to see both the fresh, local produce and the local people). One of the stalls I saw had a really interesting selection of bags which caught my eye, but I carried on walking around.

On my way past again I saw that one of the bags had a Flag Alpha design on it, so I stopped and had more of a nosey around. I even got chatting to the stallholder and she explained that the bags were made out of old sails – making them incredible durable and also a great way to reuse the sails. It also meant that each bag is unique.

Immediately it occurred to me that to have a bag for my swimming kit that was a) made out of old sail and b) had a Flag Alpha design would be pretty special.

Unfortunately they didn’t have anything there and then, but I took a card and continued to think about about it more. I left for a few weeks after I got back, but in the end I decided to treat myself and got in touch and ordered one to be made and shipped. It has arrived today:

Flag Alpha Bag

Flag Alpha Bag

Details of the sail

Details of the sail

It looks great and will now become my new bag for swimming kit. So if you see me at the pool or lake over the next few months you’re likely to see it. It is also laptop size, so I might even take it to a few meetings too.

If you want one, get in touch with Windbag – www.windbagcompany.ca

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I’m writing a book – Open For Business: business advice from a fresh [water] perspective.

Please check out my crowdfunding site to pre-order a copy – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

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Bilateral Breathing

When I first got back into swimming in 2012 my plan was always to train myself up to be able to breathe bilaterally. I always considered that to be part of what constitutes a ‘proper’ swimmer.

So I’d try – and I would really try – but I just couldn’t master it.

It wasn’t so much the breathing part – I could always technically breathe to both sides, it’s just that when I breathed to the right I couldn’t seem to swim at the same time. I seemed to lose all momentum and power and as much as I worked on it I just wasn’t getting any better. So after a couple of weeks of diligently working on it I’d give up again.

Then when I did the Channel Relay I noticed that all the swimmers in my team only breathed to one side during that swim (even Mike Read, the king of the Channel). My attitude then was ‘bugger bilateral’.

Until now that is.

Unfortunately during the first technique session with Ray from SwimCanaryWharf there was a misunderstanding and I thought that he had said that bilateral wasn’t important. However, during the second session he was disappointed that I wasn’t breathing bilaterally during normal swims (ie when not working on the specific drills). So this morning (the first chance I’ve had to swim since I saw him last week) I committed to breathing bilaterally.

And I can do it!!

With just two coaching sessions (and me working on some drills myself) I can do it. It was clearly all to do with the way I would ‘lean’ on my right arm as I was swimming and now that this is better (but by no means perfect yet) it has freed me up to be able to breathe bilaterally.

Not only that, but this morning’s swim felt wonderful and relaxed and I swam with a sense of perpetual motion and not a ‘limpy’ hard working stroke.

I’m feeling really confident about the changes this will make to my swimming overall.

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I’m writing a book – Open For Business: business advice from a fresh [water] perspective.

Please check out my crowdfunding site to pre-order a copy – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

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Crowdfunding goes live

I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe that there are many links between swimming (especially open water swimming) and business. In fact I believe that there are many lessons from open water swimming that can be applied to business.

I’ve set up a new blog to explore this further – http://open4bizblog.wordpress.com/ – and my goal is to write a book on this topic.

To help me with the book I’ve set up a crowdfunding page and it has just gone live. I’ve already received some great feedback for this and the project has been backed by people already. Please check it out: https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

And here’s the launch post I wrote on the other blog:

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I wrote the text, shot the video and submitted the forms. And now my crowdfunding site is live. Please check it out here:

As you can see I’ve chosen Sponsume as the platform I use, hopefully you’ll like it, find it easy to navigate and back the project.

The reason behind the crowdfunding is to fund additional research for the book, additional swimming (as part of the research) and allow me to spend some time dedicated to actually writing it.

For you, what it means is that you you’ll be able to pre-order the book, or if you represent a business be a sponsor with your company details included online and / or in the book itself.

Please do have a look at the project here – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business – and if it’s not for you, please do forward it to any friends or colleagues that might be interested.

Thanks

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