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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Swim fit- Week 14

SO, this is it. The final curtain; my last bow – the emotional end to the rollercoaster ride that has been my journey to becoming a swimming great. In relative terms, at least.

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CHALLENGE: Team Mermails member James Higgins emerges from the pool REF: 50032945B010

As the pictures suggest, it was a case of challenge completed on Sunday as I put my hours of toil in the pool to good use and completed 64 lengths for charity.

After lapping up the cheers of my assembled fans – my mum, dad, wife and kids – and claiming my medal, I set about reliving the eight months which had led up to my moment of glory.

Completing the mile was something I was able to do in relative comfort – but as my journey through the digital annals of time proved, it had not always been so.

Now, if this was a film, around this point, the screen would take on a misty complexion accompanied by some kind of xylophone music as I stared into the distance. It is not, but now we are all in the mood...

Week 5
“Post warm-up I decided this was the day – the day I would go all out to get 20 lengths of front crawl under my belt without a break. It was a daunting challenge; my previous best was 10 lengths before the need for a breath, but for some reason, it felt right.”

Week 6
“Before I knew it I had hit 24, and had the energy and will to continue. Then I hit the 32 length mark.

“It was a magical moment in my journey so far and one which hammered home just how much progress I had made.”

Week 8
“I can only deduce, therefore, that a mental barrier stands between me and my next goal of 40 lengths. I probably just need to man up. To grab the bull (shark) by the horns and push on.

Week 10
“It took more than a dash of persistence to make it – which I did – but not before I had cranked my mind up a notch in the determination stakes. To many, 50 lengths will not be a big deal. To me, it was massive.”

Week 12
“WHAT a fortnight of highs and lows. In the last two weeks, I have managed to almost hit the magical 64, donned neon pink goggles in the pool and been labelled a slapper.”

And so there you have it. One man’s tears, triumphs, pitfalls and progress, summed up in just a few paragraphs from a weekly column.

The experience has been great. I have met many wonderful people along the way; people who have inspired me, made me laugh – made me realise that Barrovians are salt-of-the-earth, good, honest people.

In terms of my personal achievements, well, I’ve shed a few pounds along the way, I’m a little trimmer than I had been of late and my fitness levels have improved dramatically.

For those who have followed my column over the weeks, the big question on their lips, no doubt, will be whether I managed to squeeze back into my honeymoon mini-man trunks.

Well, I’m pleased to say I did. They were my garment of choice for my most triumphant hour – and fitted so well, they may even make it into the suitcase for my upcoming sunshine break!

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