Lara swimsI learnt to ocean swim over a 12 week program from November 2016 to January 2017 via a Can Too swim program, after A LOT of practise (due to freaking out learning to breathe while swimming freestyle) I did my first freestyle ocean swim in January 2017.  I should point out that I could swim before, just not with my head in the water and not long distances 🙂

The first swim was 1km and took me about 25 minutes, it turned out later that it was actually more like 800m, so I was very slow!  But I did it and raised $2,205 for cancer research.  I then ambitiously decided to swim a 2km swim 2 weeks later, that swim took me about an hour and I had a panic attack before, twice during and then after.  But I was hooked on swimming in the ocean.

In 2017 I swam 1km every day for 7 days and then decided to challenge myself to do  101 days, which I did and got faster and faster as the days went on, although it wasn’t that easy!  Days 33-40 were the hardest when my arms felt like they were going to fall off….

This year (2018) I did the Can Too swim program again with a 2.8k ocean swim on January 29th, which took me 1 hour 7 minutes – this was my longest ocean swim race so far.  I raised $1,587 for Cancer Research for that swim.

I felt so good after the 2.8km at Palm beach in Sydney that I decided to train for my first 5km at Balmoral on March 18th.  With 5 weeks of extra training I completed the swim in 1 hour 58 minutes and felt amazing.  I raised $716 for Cancer research with that swim.

For 2019 I have decided to take it up a notch… initially it was going to be just with a 10km swim in April, but then I read a book “52 Marathons in 52 weeks” and it inspired me to challenge myself to swim a 5km ocean swim race every month in 2019.  My Mum died in 2015 from ovarian cancer, she loved the ocean, and so I decided to dedicate my swims to her and while doing so aim to raise $120,000 for ovarian cancer.  The $120,000 will fund one full time researcher working on ovarian cancer – ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed too late for much chance of recovery – my mum died 9 months after diagnosis despite a hysterectomy and 6 rounds of chemo.  Cancer is a horrible, horrible disease and I want to help to fight it and also inspire more people to get in the water.