One of the things I found hard at the start of our trip was not working. I know that will seem strange to everyone back home, working away and wishing they weren’t. But I had got to a place where I loved my job and enjoyed the challenges, and we’re programmed to believe that is what we should be doing at my age.
My team’s responsibilities included managing all of British Gas’ swimming activities. And this year is a bumper year. We decided to start our own event, British Gas Swim Britain which will be running for the public in September. In addition, British Gas puts on a big fund-raising activity each year. First a group climbed Killimanjaro and last year 50 employees cycled the length of the UK via all of our offices raising over half a million for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). This year my team took on the mantle and last Sunday ran an employee version of Swim Britain, with over 1750 employees taking part, aiming to raise over one million for GOSH.
Susie and British Gas Swims Britain
Early in the year, whilst still at work, I committed to swim my mile in the sea, wherever we happened to be that same day. That turned out to be Cala de Santa Ponsa, to the west of Palma, Mallorca. Tom was to be judge and photographer for my event.
Having received a couple of photos and texts from friends at the event back in the UK, around midday I decided it was time to go. Tom set himself up in the dinghy with GPS to record the distance and waterproof sports camera to prove I did it! I set off, he started the timer and then rowed ahead from Adina towards the beach, weaving in and out of the anchored boats. Whilst swimming I undertook a mini-study of anchors, noting more than expected not dug in with rather large yachts on the end of them! We’re careful and always snorkel to check our anchor.
Turning round just off the beach I had done half a mile, only another half to go. Finding Adina on the way back was harder in the throng of boats and with the swell in the water against me, so I was grateful of having the dinghy to sight to. Plus I was unaware Tom was redirecting small motor boats out of my path!
35 minutes and 30 seconds later I was back at Adina, out of breath and realising that I should have done more training to prepare! But it was done and I was pleased and thought of my fellow colleagues back in England.
Although doing it alone was never going to be as much fun as being with everyone in the UK it was nice to have taken part in my own way. If anyone is interested in donating to the British Gas fund for GOSH, please email Susie for details.