APEx: Advocating Physical Exercise http://aiw.org.uk/what-is-recovery/apex/
This year’s challenge is a 50 km open water swim from New Brighton to Point of Ayre... and back!
The swim is to celebrate good mental and physical health in middle aged folk by aspiring to do an annual local challenge that hasn't been done before. And a 50km swim for my 50th birthday is bound to be a real adventure, to say the least; a swim that’s a full 12 miles further than the English Channel Swim!
We've had invaluable advice and continuing support from scientist Jennifer Brown and her team at the National Oceanography Centre (formerly based at the Bidston Hill observatory) www.noc.ac.uk.
I am not a "real" swimmer, so this challenge is also about breaking the myths about exercise and the usual elitist gubbins around it that prevents folk from trying new life challenges.
APEx, year in year out, do a huge amount of unsung stuff around improving mental Wellbeing and aspiration on the Wirral through everyday exercise. And as a predominantly voluntary endeavour they do so much more than many more vociferously vaunted similar projects - with just 1 day a week paid coordination, but a huge load of voluntary endeavour. The project is developing as a great asset that costs the Wirral peanuts to give such great outcomes.
Last year's 12.7 mile sea swim from Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton, to Hilbre Island, West Kirby, gave such unique seal eye perspective of Wirral, North Wales and Lancashire hills, and proved again beyond doubt what's on offer hereabouts if you just set your mind to get out and seek outdoors adventure.
I've been re-reading an article on The Friends of Hilbre Website about how folks - with real derring-do - in former and more resilient (and less service dependant times) who swam the Dee Estuary. It's possible if you have meticulous knowledge of dangerous tides and currents. The story of Wirral resident who used to swim from Hilbre via a run across the Constable Bank to Talacre, has been a real inspiration for this summers swim. www.deeestuary.co.uk/hilbre/newsfoh40.htm