As you may know South West Swim run a sponsorship programme for a couple of Swimmers doing charity events. This year one of our sponsored swimmers was David Stevens, who planned to swim Windermere end to end.
We are pleased to say David achieved this goal in an EPIC swim, testing not only his physical capabilities but his mental resolve. For his efforts David can put his name to the Lake swim and also be proud that he raised so much money for charity. Below is his story of the day.
It has been a pleasure coaching David, Supporting him and watching his swim story unfold. I offer a massive well done to you for your swim and your fundraising efforts, Raising over £9100!! You can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Stevens13
Head Coach South West Swim
David’s Day out in Windermere
Well as I write I’m now a Windermere veteran, wow that sounds odd !!
I always said it didn’t matter how long it took me, and it didn’t, but I had hoped to swim it in 8 hours (ish). We had got up to Windermere in good time with jim, our captain catching up with us on route. My brother in law Marcus and Chris mount were joining jim in the boat , and together they were going to blog our journey on social media, which would be the final part of the Windermere Swim journey.
On the day I was calm and I woke at 3.30 am, I got out of bed at 4am we were staying In The boat house at the langdale chase , which was completely fab , I did some cat stretches, something I would regret later. I looked over the lake, It was so quiet and dark with my boat tied up at our jetty directly below us. We had no internet but I had seen a lot of messages the day before and it felt as if it was all coming together and I was hoping lots of people would enjoy our frolicking about in Windermere, the fundraising was still going so well too.
The lads turned up and we were off up to Ambleside. it was still dark as I stepped into the water that morning but I felt strong and was looking forward to the day’s work ahead !
The swim itself was an unknown to me. I had done some 5 hour swims, but how would I cope with this on the day? I started the swim and as we passed our hotel I stopped shortly to kiss Samantha and give a few waves before getting stuck into the main part of the swim. Our next stop was to see Jason Aspinall somewhere behind the island around 2-3 hours away. We had planned feed stops every 30 minutes or so to keep fresh which worked well, Never becoming depleted of nutrition was a key to maintaining energy and making sure i got to the end of the swim. I must say I really enjoyed the first half of my swim !
After a while I met Jason Aspinall for a high five in the middle of Windermere (can be seen on our Facebook pages “A Swim To Remember”) which was just fab. After this the conditions were still perfect and the sun had come out as I got to the car ferry, which is roughly the halfway point of the swim. We had to wait around 30-40 minutes for our guests to come over so we just enjoyed the lake. Chris then jumped in as he was joining me in the lake for a few hours, it was a long swim to the next stop at stalls hall point. By this time the wind had got up a little bit it still felt good, however my wrist was starting to niggle a little now.
We pushed on and after the fun of the morning it was time to get my head down with so much going through my mind; memories of my children, looking forward to seeing Samantha, all the donations and hoping people had connected and were enjoying our swim. By this point it had got a lot harder but Chris had stayed in with me and we kept going, and going.
My wrist was really hurting now I think we had about 2 miles left but it felt like a lifetime away with every stroke came pain and I remember saying on a feed stop I was in a world of pain and hurt , but I knew I couldn’t climb into the boat!! JKS (Just Keep Swimming) kept running though my mind, and as we passed the first boats at fell foot I was VERY pleased indeed!
We had made it!!! and as I saw Sam, Leah and all our friends and family I was just so glad I’d made it. All that training, all those early mornings, all that cold water swimming! Was it worth it ? am I now a swimmer I thought ? Yes was the answer to all, and now I’m not only an open water swimmer, I have swum the longest lake in England, from top to bottom.