Friday, 25 January 2008


Hello all. I am seizing this opportunity to introduce myself; Mark’s blog being somewhat quiet of late and me being completely out of action due to back injury. I am the proverbial ’kick up the backside’ when Mark’s head, body or both are tired; I am the ear which gets a battering when there’s no one left to take another ’SWIM’ word; I am the parent who makes him sit there and eat his greens, I am the taxi who picks up his son, I am the nag, the unsympathetic coach but more importantly, his second conscience when he doesn‘t listen to his own! I am not a swimmer (for those of you who are part of the ‘group’ I am one of those annoying breaststrokers (though lane etiquette is well and truly drummed in!)) I am not a life coach, nutritionist, physio, childminder, masseur, photographer, life guard or kayaker! Well, what I mean is if I tried to pass myself off as any of those officially, I’d be either locked up as a con artist or certified! Some of you who are acquainted with the blog may know me as KGB.

Andy King, Me and Mark
When Mark, first sewed the seed of doing a channel swim I thought I’d admiringly watch from the side lines, freely spectating at will, armed with popcorn and programme. Oh nooo! I may not have got on the top deck but I boarded the bus! Call me ignorant, but I never envisaged just how involved I would become. Some would call me mad or silly to put so much of my own time and effort into someone else’s dream; I disagree on the grounds I too get something out of it, claims my support is truly unconditional would be slightly misleading. I’ve had the pleasure to meet some inspiring people, visit idyllic locations, and experience new activities and, are yet to encounter many more. I also ENJOY being there for Mark despite being cold and wet when I could be indoors sipping tea; despite doing the dreaded school run when I could be at the gym; despite cooking a mountainous meal when I’m not hungry myself. Believe it or not, I’m having fun too.

To all the partners out there who feel like swimming widows, there are simply two options to be considered, either allow your partner to full fill their dream by taking the Active Support role by the horns or pass the responsibility wholeheartedly to another, without harbouring any guilt (on either part).
For all those who are thinking of attempting a Channel swim, I wish you two things; luck in achieving your task (a mere gesture since there is no correlation between the task and luck whatsoever) and a kick up the backside, nag, unsympathetic ear, …! In other words, I truly wish you a second conscience too! There are always going to be many people around who’ll wish you well, offer a hand out of the water, a lift when you’re stuck or a warm hug when you’re too cold and tired to go on; however how many of these good folk are willing to refuse to pull you out when you think you have had enough? Decline to take you home just because you forgot your trunks? Offer little sympathy to your shivering and chattering after being in 11 degree sea water for a few hours? Not many; chose your support well and understand your partner/best friend/parent may not want to/be able to turn a cheek. We all can’t be Freda Streeter!
As a teenager I had an excellent relationship with both of my parents until it was time to learn to drive! It seemed (though I loved them dearly) they weren’t best suited to being my instructors nor me, their ideal pupil. I am happy to say , a third party was employed and our relationship healed.

I commend everyone who has achieved, attempted and will attempt the massive task of not only the Channel, but dedicating both mental and physical energy, time and commitment to achieving a dream. I too take this opportunity to applaud the families, friends and partners who have hopped on their journey too whether giving their love and understanding or simply combing a beach for several hours in the rain!!
I look forward to meeting some of you in the spring of 2008 where I hope to gain feeding tips, massage techniques and share flasks of coffee; you never know…..I might even get in the water myself and learn front crawl…...NO SPLASHING PLEASE!!!!!!! KGB


Anonymous said...

wow, your site is very organised!!! it's good to read about all your training...very motivational! i'll see you in may for sandycove...should be a great time, the only thing i'm really concerned about is the cold!

michelle said...

Well put KGB.