2020 has been a year of meh – I started it off with a year full of events planned so something to work towards. However, thanks to COVID, everything has been cancelled or postponed to next year. With nothing to train towards my mojo did a fast exit from the door and the black dog set up camp on my mind, keeping my mind distracted from the things I knew I should be doing to help keep him at bay.  

Open Water Swimming has been a god send for me. I started April 2019 and as the summer moved on I had decided to keep going right through the winter. The effect it had had on my mood was clear and even just a 10-minute dip could clear away the worries. Thanks to a silly accident (falling arse over tit while taking part in a colour run and badly spraining my ankle) I was kept out of water till well into winter so did not have a chance to acclimatize to the dropping temperature. A quick dip New Year’s Day at Walpole bay certainly proved it – 7 degrees and I came out looking like a red lobster. At the same time, I could track my mood dropping over the winter period.  

Thanks to a mad friend…… I’ve signed up to the Polar Bear Challenge for this winter. A goal gives me something to work towards and keeps me focused rather than finding excuses not to get out and about and swim.  

Between 01/11/2020 and 31/03/2021 I will be swimming at least 5000 metres in open water in just my jammers and goggles – no neoprene, wetsuit, gloves, socks – anything that might help to keep me warm.  

To keep me accountable, I’ve decided to raise money for the Brainstrust – a UK based charity helping people diagnosed with brain tumours.  

Any money you can put in the pot will help them carry on the amazing work they do. If you also fancy joining me for a swim you are always more than welcome  

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamesmead-polarbear2020

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