I truly believe that a Channel Swim – performed under traditional rules – is among the greatest athletic feats that a human can achieve.
We are terrestrial animals, adapted to surviving on land with the assistance of clothing and shelter. We are capable of great efficiency of movement – on solid ground.
A Channel Swim turns all this on its head. Without shelter… naked but for a porous, skimpy textile garment… we step offshore into an environment we are terribly adapted to, and terribly inefficient at moving through. As the ocean floor drops beneath our ability to stand, and the cold begins its creeping march from the extremities to the core – there are really only two options: Swim to the other shore… or get on the boat.
I have another belief, which might seem to contradict or undermine my first belief (that a Channel Swim is one of the greatest athletic feats a human can achieve). And that is:
Almost any able-bodied human can accomplish a Channel Swim.
You don’t need to be athletic, or coordinated, or physically strong.…