So as the days wind down to my departure for skiing, it seems that I’m doing a lot of swimming and not much skiing related exercises or rehab. Today is no exception. Today the organisers of the iconic Manly Cole Classic swim are going to run a 5 km event for the first time and I’ve entered. For many years I did the 2 km event in this series, firstly at Bondi, when it was located there and later at Manly. I don’t think I’ve ever done a 5 km ocean swim before. It looked dubious last night with a strong southerly wind and big seas booming into Queenscliff and Freshwater. I thought they would probably cancel it. They didn’t. There is still a swell running onto Queenscliff Headland as I walk down to Shelly although the wind has dropped off a bit.
Barry and Adriana Feyder, Ross Boakes, Alison Maunder from the beach club as well as David Healy met me at the Surf Club and we walked over to Shelly together. I did a radio interview with Ian McNamara’s Australia All Over radio programme for the swim which is something I’ve never done before – a perambulatory speech. That means I can walk and talk at the same time which I guess is encouraging.
Course is shown below.
Anyway off we went at 7:45 AM. The first couple of hundred metres were the only time in the entire event that I swam with anyone and it was a very lonely experience by the time I got down to the buoys opposite Freshwater Beach. I think I ended up about a kilometre off Freshwater Point as I was swimming too far to the right. On the way back I started to get anxious battling into the south-easterly swell and wind and feeling totally isolated. There were no other swimmers in the water that I could see and there was no water safety either. It was confronting as I pondered the consequences of a heart attack or stroke out there. Anyway, I kept that it, battling rising anxiety and eventually went round the last can in front of Manly Surf club somewhat relieved. Interestingly, I went around the can with Dave Healy who I’d gone off the beach with at Shelly an hour and a half earlier. Amelia and Bergin came to say hello and we had a jolly breakfast afterwards at Manly Winebar. The coffee never came, but it never does. I’m glad I did the swim. It won’t help my rehab or my skiing but it gives me a sense of accomplishment
Next Friday February 12, will be the one year anniversary of surgery for a tibial plateau fracture. Two days later, on the Sunday, I leave for the United States to resume skiing. Hopefully. It’s been quite a year.