Swimming over to France in aid of Young Minds

James Brock of James & James Estate Agents is no stranger to fundraising, James latest challenge is taking on the English Channel in aid of Young Minds Charity

James comments “Several people have asked me ‘Why?’ why James, are you planning on swimming to France, don’t you know there are boats that can take you across?

How I laugh!! As if hearing that for the first time, EVERY TIME!

Over the past 7 years I have run multiple marathons, an ultra-marathon, completed two 70.3-mile triathlons and one full ironman (a 140.6-mile triathlon) I had decided it was time to retire from endurance sport and take up golf!!

Then, last year, I turned 40. My mum and sister bought me some fancy swimming goggles that had a ‘heads up’ display. So, I thought I’d better do some swimming….. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful.

I’m not the sort of chap who can go to the gym or a run without having a target or a goal that I’m working towards. I like structure. So, this prompted me to look at entering a race. I looked at swimming Lake Windermere a mere 10.5-mile swim.

I’m a firm believer that if you’re training to run a half marathon then really you should push on and train for a full marathon. I’ve been quite vocal about this over the years. I do believe that a lot of endurance events are mind over matter. Therefore, I couldn’t really swim Lake Windermere when the English Chanel is double that distance. It would be very hypocritical if I trained to swim Lake Windermere knowing that the English Channel was an option.

I thought I'd better tell the wife

I had two tabs open on my computer ‘Windermere one way’ & CF&PF Chanel swimming and pilot Federation’ open. I was flicking between to the two tabs. Go big or go home, Go Big Or Go Home, Go Big or Go Home. Repeatedly. Bang.

Dear Mr Brock,

Thank you for registering to swim the English Channel…..

I thought… I’d better tell the wife…

I’ve been training for about 9 months, each month covering roughly 80,000 meters I started swimming in the sea in ‘skins’ (no wetsuit) at the end of April to start cold water acclimatisation.

I have to complete a 6 hour qualification swim on 28th May and then my boat pilot will be contacting me between the 17th – 22nd July to make my way to Dover to start my channel swim. I expect the crossing to take about 16 hours. I am not permitted to touch the boat during the swim and will be passed food and drink in a bucket from my support crew.

Metal health is something that I take very seriously and having suffered with bouts of anxiety myself, so I know just how heart breaking it can be for many.

It breaks my heart to think of children who have lost a parent or been through trauma and are just stuck on a waiting list to receive the support they need. Id just like these kids get the support they need before it hits a proper crisis point & before its too late. I often think if children and young adults have a better understanding of what they are going through and how to handle situations, then it will also put them in better position for later in life.

Thinking about putting my swim to a good charitable cause I’ve decided I would like to raise funds for YoungMinds

YoungMinds charity want to see a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health, and all young people get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.

So, if you are able, please feel free to throw a few pennies in the pot”.