One Melbourne lockdown on a Sunday morning, I was swimming in the Bay and it was a little bit choppy. I was slightly hesitant but after chatting with a couple of the other swimmers, one who said it was fun, the others who said they were going from the beach – I decided to get in at the steps, which is over the rocks at Williamstown beach. I swam out and across my normal routine to the first pole but on my return, the choppiness and the undercurrent became quite problematic. I found myself really struggling and gasping for breath and swallowing water. I think I was close to the steps but they seemed so far away and I just wasn’t making any headway towards them at all.
The thing with cold water swimming, is what I call brain freeze, you can’t logically think very well once your core gets really cold. I knew I was in trouble but I didn’t know what to do about it. The Bible says we have a Saviour who is our help in trouble and who rescues us from our trials. At that moment, I wasn’t thinking God – I don’t know what I was thinking except that I couldn't get back to those steps. I was being thrown about and the beach was fairly empty. One woman on the path looked at me (you can't really miss me in that get-up) but kept walking.
All of a sudden there was some clarity in my head and I heard three sentences.
‘You’re nearly there.’
‘Let the swell take you, stop fighting.’
All very strange sentences which I would not have told myself – however it was an encouragement and I listened because I