Wil's 2017 Swim With The Fishes Across Lake Couchiching Featured

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The 2017 Sun City Swim in Orillia and my fundraising campaign "Wil Swims With the Fishes" is now complete and both were another great success thanks to so many volunteers,swimmers and supporters. All proceeds raised by the swimmers went directly to the  Child Advocay Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka to help them take care of abused kids. I'd especially like to thank those who contributed to my swim ... helping me raise $1,695 for the centre - more than any other swimmer. That distinction earned me a beautiful handcrafted Muskoka Chair.

A big thank you to my brother Paul Wegman who served as an excellent spotter and kept me on track for the entire 4 km across  Lake Couchiching from Fern Resort across to Orillia's Couchiching Beach Park. Along the way, I saw some great bass structure- shoals and aquatic plants but alas not much in the way of actual fish swimming below me.  Perhaps I was just motoring it way too fast for them fishes:) Lol! Going into the swim, I felt in better shape than I have in any of my other four annual crossings. Why? Primarily because I changed my lap swimming routine somewhat after reading a book on "Swimming after you're 50". It's key message to me (at 57 years of age) was to drill home the need for us to make sure we still aren't afraid to swim fast ... to try and not always just pace yourself in the slow and steady wins the race type of regime.  Therefore during my fairly extensive training lap swimming (5-6 days per week) at the wonderful Bradford Leisure Centre Pool, I have changed my swimming patterns to include all out fast paced laps to coincide with steady as she goes. 

That and the importance of 'rest' for older muscles like ours to relax and adjust etc - let alone to catch my breath! So those breast stroke, rest stroke routines of mine every 5 laps really came into play out on the lake.  The cool thing was however that I was so pumped my front crawl fast pace really didn't tire me out much and I just felt great. I was confident of achieving a Personal Best when I finally touched shore but when I heard I did it in 1hr, 33min,9sec. I must admit I was somewhat crestfallen ... as I thought I would have beat my previous PB of a few years ago at 1:27.  I'm sure I had a good tail wind then though and the only real difference in 2017 was the strong north headwind that was especially noticeable at the start. Still it was a far cry better to swim in those conditions then it was last year ... when my son and his canoe were swept ashore towards Orillia because of the intense cross wind!  I did 2/3rds of that swim without my spotter and that wind was awful ... I had to continually compensate for it and swim back in line to keep on track. 2017 was just a joy  and because of it I am already looking forward to next year!

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