Summer Solstice 2018 – the hatching of a plan

This might seem like an odd post on a grey February day but I wanted to share our plans for the summer. Mainly to set it in stone but also in the hope that sharing our plans will give me the boot up the backside I need to start training for it.

Two years ago we swum on the summer solstice and had a glass of Pimms afterwards to celebrate. I’d only been swimming outside for a month at that point so we probably didn’t swim very far but it was special to share the peak of the summer with a few friends after a warm swim. Last year we did a double dip. Swimming at sunrise (4:40 I think) and sunset (9pm ish). It was cloudy so we didn’t see either the sun coming up or going down, but again, it was lovely to see the peak of the summer in with a glass of Pimms! This year we’re planning something a bit more adventurous for a very worthy cause.

A friend of mine, Sarah Marshall, has been living with a life changing condition for a number of years. She has a serious lung and heart condition called pulmonary hypertension. It affects the ability of her heart and lungs to capture and circulate oxygen around her body. The result is severe breathlessness and fatigue. She now needs continual supplemental oxygen, cannot work and is severely restricted in what she can do. It has been a complete and utter life changer for a previously energetic person with an endless zest for life. Whilst the condition can be managed to a greater or lesser extent, there is no cure.

One of Sarah’s big lifelines has been the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), a small charity focussed on supporting people with PHA and working towards finding a cure for the disease. Her husband Phil has undertaken a number of extreme (slightly bonkers) running events to raise money for this much needed charity. It’s been on my mind for a while that I’d like to do something similar (though perhaps not quite as bonkers!) and I think I’ve found it!

Inspired by another adventurous type, Aleks Kashefi (AKA barefoot Aleks), the bestest swim buddy (AKA The Short One) and I are planning a summit to sea adventure on the summer solstice from the top of Scafell Pike out to the Cumbrian coast. Aleks ran up and down Scafell Pike, swam the length of Wast Water and then ran out to the coast.

I’m no runner so we’re definitely not running it! Instead we’re hoping to walk up and down Scafell Pike, swim the length of Wast Water and cycle out to the coast.  It will be the highest peak and the deepest lake in England on the longest day of the year! Highest, Deepest, Longest – A Tall & Short One adventure! It’s not a race or a formal event, we just want to see if we can do it and we’ll be supported by one very good friend for the day.

It will be a challenge for both of us for very different reasons. I swim, I don’t really use my legs for much. I occasionally nip out on my bike and head out for a walk but never on the same day and certainly never off the back of a long swim. The Short One is a triathlete. She’s incredibly fit but the furthest she’s ever swum in open water is 2km. She’ll have to do 4.5km to get down Wast Water.

We’re both going to need some big incentives to not only achieve it on the day but also put the training in to make sure we can succeed. That’s where our fundraising comes in. Fingers crossed it’ll give me the boot I need start training!!!

More to come in the next blog including a fundraising link – I hope.

Wast Water with Scafell Pike just out of sight to the right. Fingers crossed the weather’s this good on the day!

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