My solo attempt of the English Channel is now just 2 months away.
The date of my attempt is dependent on the weather conditions and could be anytime between 21st-31st July. No wetsuit, no contact with anything but the odd jellyfish and the bracing ~16'C sea in nothing but my finest pair of trusty Speedos, goggles and cap.
I swam from a young age and rediscovered my love for it in my mid-20s and have relished testing my own boundaries in open water since then.
In the past few years I have scaled up from Coniston (6km), to Windermere (16km) to Zurich (26km). The Channel represents a step up again. The distance, temperature, currents, waves, seasickness, fatigue, injury, and doubt must all be overcome over 13.5 hours of perseverance - the average time taken for the 1,568 successful individual crossings made since 1875.
The preparation has been unrelenting. Entering with my eyes wide open, I could scarcely comprehend the amount of time and energy required - it squeezes every other part of your life and would not have been possible without a great deal of support from friends and family. I have just about sustained a job and the semblance home/social life around 25-30km of swimming a week - and managing the fatigue and hunger that comes with that!
Brain tumours have impacted the people I love more than any other disease and often, the impact is devastating.
My grandmother, who I was never able to meet passed away from a brain tumour at the age of 46.
My wife Rosie, and her family lost her father Brian to a brain tumour in 2006 . The Cross family do an incredible amount for this cause and I am proud to use this opportunity to support their dedicated efforts over the years.
Finally, my very good friend Will continues to make a strong recovery from multiple surgeries - and has given me immediate perspective of just how serious this condition can be.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer yet treatment has barely changed in the last 40 years, and receives just 1% of research funding into cancers overall.
I am raising funds for The Brian Cross Memorial Trust in partnership with The Brain Tumour Charity. All donations raised will go towards Glioblastoma research, the most common and malignant form of brain cancer. You can read more about the project here: https://bit.ly/2IT0WW1