Chisholm headed over­seas for English Chan­nel swim at­tempt

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Af­ter months of train­ing and plan­ning, Swift Cur­rent’s Meghan Chisholm is fly­ing over­seas to­day to em­bark on the pur­suit of her dream to swim the English Chan­nel.

Her English Chan­nel swim is planned be­tween July 19 and 26, where she is sched­uled as the fourth swim­mer among a group of six chal­lenge par­tic­i­pants. The swim­mers are all lo­gis­ti­cally sup­ported by qual­i­fied guides from the English Chan­nel As­so­ci­a­tion, and their ef­fort is ob­served by an of­fi­cial spot­ter. Dur­ing they swim they can not touch the sup­port boat and have to tread wa­ter while tak­ing nu­tri­tion and hy­dra­tion breaks.

Chisholm has trained for the at­tempt by spend­ing hours train­ing in the wa­ter, com­plet­ing a 34 kilo­me­tre train­ing swim on Feb. 20, tack­ling a long swim in Last Moun­tain Lake, and at­tempt­ing to du­pli­cate the cold wa­ter swim ex­pe­ri­ence she can ex­pect while in the At­lantic Ocean be­tween Eng­land and France. She com­pleted her of­fi­cial qual­i­fy­ing swim on June 10 at the Fairview Pool in wa­ter that was cooled to 14.5 Cel­sius, with the pool never ex­ceed­ing 15.5 Cel­sius, keep­ing the tem­per­a­ture be­low 60 Fahren­heit.

She ad­mits that de­spite all her train­ing and sim­u­lat­ing the con­di­tions ex­pected in the swim, she does not know what the com­bi­na­tion of all these fac­tors will be like.

“The last cou­ple of weeks I’ve been not re­ally want­ing to talk about the swim ac­tu­ally. I’ve kind of been re­ally ner­vous. I don’t know if I’m ready. I haven’t done any­thing like this, and there hasn’t been any­one close to me or any­body that I’ve known who could give me some tips and help me out,” Chisholm said days be­fore leav­ing for Eng­land.

“Each day I get more ner­vous. I wouldn’t say scared, but I don’t know what the fu­ture holds, so I guess ner­vous is the word to de­scribe it.”

She does feel she is pre­pared for the cold wa­ter as­pect of the swim, which is colder than the wa­ter tem­per­a­tures in the pool dur­ing her years as a com­pet­i­tive sum­mer swim club mem­ber.

“For me I got re­ally, re­ally cold when I was think­ing about it. But as soon as I kind of blocked it out and started swim­ming and get­ting into my rhythm I just kind of for­got about how cold it was.”

While re­search­ing the swim she knows there will be ocean cur­rents and po­ten­tial prob­lems with jelly fish, and the cur­rent will push her to swim fur­ther than the 34 kilo­me­tre dis­tance be­tween coasts. How­ever, she feels the tough­est chal­lenge will be the men­tal part of the swim which she is hop­ing to fin­ish in 12 hours.

“I would say the tough­est part is men­tal, hon­estly. If you’re not hav­ing that fast pace in your head or you’re not tim­ing the waves, and you’re not men­tally ready, that could make or break a swim. You could be phys­i­cally fit, you could be ready, but it’s all men­tal. It’s a men­tal game pretty much.”

“It’s just been a goal that I’ve had for a long time. And I thought now is the op­por­tu­nity. I’ve al­ways wanted to see how far and how hard I could push my­self as a swim­mer,” Chisholm said dur­ing a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view.

While the swim is a per­sonal chal­lenge, she is also fundrais­ing for the Ju­ve­nile Di­a­betes Re­search Foun­da­tion ( JDRF) as ex­tra in­cen­tive for tack­ling this daunt­ing swim. She said she was bol­stered by the many people who shared with her their per­sonal sto­ries of friends and fam­i­lies who have dealt with Ju­ve­nile Di­a­betes.

“I think it’s in­spir­ing, and it makes me happy to know that I’m do­ing my swim for a good cause.”

Her ef­forts to raise funds for JDRF has passed the $7,500 mark ear­lier this week, but she is hop­ing to raise $25,000 from sup­port­ers on­line at http://jdr­fca.donor­ m/in­dex.cfm?fuse­ac­tion=d onorDrive. event& even­tID=1736.

Meghan will be at­tempt­ing the swim with her par­ents Donna and John Chisholm in the pi­lot boat for the cross­ing. They will be fly­ing the Cana­dian flag, Saskatchew­an flag and a City of Swift Cur­rent flag on the pi­lot boat dur­ing the at­tempt.

“They’ve helped me out and said, ‘It’s your swim! You just go out there and you just swim. Don’t think about any­thing else, just swim, and we’ll see what hap­pens in the end.’” Swift Cur­rent’s Meghan Chisholm will soon be at­tempt­ing a swim of the English Chan­nel be­tween Eng­land and France while rais­ing funds for the JDRF.

File photo

Meghan Chisholm par­tic­i­pated in a num­ber of long dis­tance train­ing swim to pre­pare for her English Chan­nel swim at­tempt.

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