Tag Archives: H2Open

Cake and swimming…

… swimming and cake. They just seem to go together so well.

Well now you have a reason for a piece of cake after your swim – the magazine dedicated to open water swimming – H2Open – is four years old this week.

That’s four years of promoting open water swimming to an initially sceptical public. Four years of news, articles about training, nutrition or great, iconic swims. Four years of kit reviews or venue descriptions. Four years of listings of British and international swims that people can enter. And perhaps most importantly four years of support for the community.

Well, a great idea has been formed to allow all the readers (and future readers) of H2Open to celebrate this:

Bake a cake and post a photo of it with the hashtag

You know what, as far as I’m concerned, you can buy a piece of cake too – just take a photo before you eat it and post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag.


Go on, you know you want to!

Mmmmmm cake.

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Disclaimer – I am now an ‘ambassador’ for H2Open. This unpaid role just means that I support the magazine and promote it to my swimming friends. If you’d like to subscribe to the magazine you can get in touch with me – or go here. I also occasionally write for the print and online editions – despite that, it’s still a great mag.


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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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Are you a ‘proper’ swimmer

I’m honoured to be allowed to write an occasional article for the wonderful H2Open Magazine, especially after having met the editor Simon at a few events this summer.

The articles I write are all about the lessons that can be applied to business from open water swimming – or to put it another way, you can be Open for Business. In the latest article I write about not feeling like a ‘proper’ swimmer, or businessman.

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Although I’ve been open water swimming for three years and completed some of the sport’s most iconic swims, I’m still never quite confident enough to call myself a ‘proper’ swimmer. As a child I could always swim, but I was never a member of a swimming club. I never did the early morning training sessions before school and the gala meets. I never had a coach or even had any coaching of any sort.

Even now when I watch some of the other swimmers at the events I go to and take part in I don’t feel like a proper swimmer in comparison. And that’s not even mentioning comparing swimming times – which I hate myself for doing after every event, but I can’t help depressing myself by working out just how much faster nearly everyone else was.

And yet, even though I don’t think of myself as a proper swimmer I’m welcomed in…

– – –

You can read the full article here.

And read more of my articles here.


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Open for Business

When I’m not swimming I run a PR and Communications agency (actually the agency came before the swimming as I’ve been running it for six years now). As my swimming has developed, improved and grown in stature so too has the business. I’m convinced that not only are those things related, but that there are wider parallels that everyone can draw between open water swimming and business.

Many of the lessons that we get from the swimming can be applied to our business lives – and can help us to create better and more successful businesses.

So I want to bring those lessons to businesses and have started to present to businesses for an internal meeting, or to groups of businesses or start-ups at business events and conferences. If you’d like to find out more about this get in touch, or see more here.

I have also started to write a guest blog for the excellent open water swimming magazine H2Open. In these posts I explore the themes and lessons that we can take from open water swimming and apply to business:

H2Open online

H2Open online

Nothing Great is Easy – using Captain Webb’s quote I show that, like a channel crossing, businesses can be affected by outside factors, but that doesn’t have to mean you are blown off course.

Time to Get Your Face Wet – practice for the experience, but sometimes you just need to get on with it – in swimming and in business.

Taking the plunge in business – “Both open water swimming and running your own business, while growing in popularity, are outside of the norm. They both require a degree of bravery to set off and, if you will excuse the pun, take the plunge…”

Let me know what you think.

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Next Challenges?

Telling people that we’d completed our Channel Relay, the response from nearly everyone was: “solo next?” By that of course they mean do I want to swim across the channel on my own, without a team, swimming it all myself. And my answer has always been a resounding “NO!”

It’s not that I don’t want to, but I just can’t see a time when I could commit enough (money and effort) to completing a swim of that magnitude. I am in awe of the solo swimmers!

But I do want to do more swimming and face more challenges. But rather than swim further, I want to swim ‘more interesting’.

What I’d love to do is a series of [ideally global] swims that are iconic and interesting. Two on my list are the Escape from Alcatraz and Hellespont swims.

Can you help me out and recommend any more?

I’m also keen to do some presentations / speaking on the links between open water swimming and business. Please check out this link – http://bit.ly/jpropen – and if you know any business events that need speakers let me know. I’ve also written a couple of posts (here and here) for H2Open magazine and will hopefully do more soon.

Ok, self-promotion over.


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Taking the plunge in business

For a while now I’ve been a big believer that open water swimming can provide some lessons for people in business and especially people looking to start their own business.

It’s certainly an unusual angle to take, but the level of preparation and dedication required to succeed at either is comparable. So too is the fact that it’s still considered to be an unusual thing to do that requires courage. As someone that has done both (and continues to do both) I think we can take the examples from swimming to create engaging stories for business people.

As part of this, I have written my first article for the excellent H2Open magazine. In this article I look at some simple lessons taken from open water swimming that can be applied to starting a business:

“To me, some of the biggest lessons can be applied to business and especially for people running their own business. Both open water swimming and running your own business, while growing in popularity, are outside of the norm. They both require a degree of bravery to set off and, if you will excuse the pun, take the plunge.

However, that pun is a clear example of the link between the two activities. Much of the language of business can be applied to open water swimming and vice versa.”

I’m not going to post the whole article here, instead please do go and read it on H2Open’s site.

However, if you’d like to hear more about this, then I am also starting to speak on this topic at business events. If you’d like to chat about an event you might be running then you can find more information here.

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What if Michael Phelps were an open water swimmer?

I wrote about Michael Phelps’s return to swimming the other day. In it I talked about Michael getting fat – cos I’m a deep and serious blogger like that.

However, if you wanted a slightly less serious* take on it all, then Simon Griffiths from H2Open has written a great post. He asks the question – how might things be different if Michael Phelps was an open water swimmer and reaches a disappointing conclusion:

“In short, his medal tally, and his net worth, would almost certainly be considerably diminished if he were an open water swimmer.”

So Simon goes on to make two very good points:

1 – The number of open water swimming events at the Olympics should increase to allow us to have highly decorated stars such as Phelps.

2 – Someone should get Phelps into a lake now he’s returning to swimming.

It would be great to see the additional profile for open water swimming if either or both of those happened.

*Simon’s post is of course very serious and very good and you should read it: http://www.h2openmagazine.com/blogs/what-if-michael-phelps-were-open-water-swimmer/

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Beautiful swimming writing

I follow a few other swimmers on Twitter and I suppose I’m subconsciously looking out for people mentioning swimming, but today I saw two very separate, very different articles about swimming that I wanted to share them here.

The first is from H2Open magazine – a great publication dedicated to swimmers, that I’ve just started following. The post that caught my attention is about cold water swimming and what goes through your mind. I don’t swim in very cold water (ie at this time of year), but it all seemed to be what I think anyway. Have a read: What goes through the mind of a cold water swimmer?

The second article is in The Guardian. I didn’t realise they had a swimming blog, but they do and this is one post from it. It’s all about the freedom of swimming and the almost zen-like tranquility. It’s beautiful, read it here: Why I love swimming
Both beautiful articles.

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