Wil's Swim Across Lake Couchiching!

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Recently I was fortunate enough to have been the focus of an article in the Bradford Topic Newspaper featuring my upcoming attempt to swim across Lake Couchiching for the annual Sun City Swim. That 1/2 page article included a nice large photo of me and a big bass, that took up plenty of space, which left out a fair bit of the information I supplied for the reporter.

So, In today's blog - I have provided readers with the basis of the original online interview thru the following Q and A's.

Thanks for reading, and if you'd still like to sponsor my swim (benefits go to Soldiers memorial Hospital in Orillia and their new Neonatal care Unit) just log onto this secure link: 


*   Are you an avid swimmer?

I have always loved swimming but have only been doing laps for the last year and a bit. I guess I would now consider myself an avid swimmer.

*   If so, when did you begin swimming and why do you love it so much?

I was taught by my dad to swim when I was very young ... he loved to swim and was a firm believer that here in Canada (he was originally from the Netherlands) that all Canadian kids should know how to swim because we are surrounded by so many lakes and rivers. He also loved to fish and got me hooked on the sport at an early age and felt anglers who spent so much time on the water, should know how to swim if they ever went in unexpectedly. In my teens- I went thru for Bronze Medallion and other swimming certificates but was never really a committed lap swimmer until our new indoor pool arrived in Bradford. I said for years, that if we ever got an indoor facility, I would try swimming laps and see if I like it. Well- our gorgeous facility opened in April 2012, I bought a seasons pass and have been swimming laps there ever since.  

*   Where did the idea come from to do the Lake Couchiching swim?

While fishing bass tournaments on Lake Couchiching - that would sometimes coincide with the Sun City swim ... I would often see this 'herd' of swimmers swimming across the lake. Even though I wasn't even doing laps at the time, I was very intrigued by a long distance lake swim. When we were young - as kids, my dad would often act as a spotter driving our boat beside my sister and I as we would attempt to swim across whatever lake we were camping at.  At the Sun City Swim ... I will be proud to have my youngest son Izaak (25) accompany me as my mandatory spotter - in his canoe. My other son Tyler (27) will be a spotter for a family friend who will also be doing the swim.

*   How have you been preparing for this swim?

For several months swimming the laps at least 3 times per week. In July- the schedule at the Pool included morning swims every day- so I have increased my outings to at least each weekday morning. I basically swim 1 ½ km each day in the pool- occasionally a little more. A few months ago, I did try to swim 4 km in the pool; just to see if I could do it ... and managed to stay afloat and complete this distance. I also hope to try a practice swim up on Couchiching some time before the event. Swimming will be a lot different in the lake though compared to the pool. We could see rough waters, but also be dealing with all the other swimmers near you ... and the chore of trying to swim straight without veering off course. In a pool- you have nice straight lines below you to make sure you swim straight. That aid won't be available on Cooch Aug 10. Also, a huge part of the swim will be dealing with mental uncertainties - convincing your mind that you can make it. When I saw the distance a couple of weeks ago during a bass tournament out of Orillia ... I said to myself- "you gotta be kidding Wegman ... that's way too freakin far for you". I gotta keep those kinda thoughts from emerging Aug 10!

*   Why is it so important for you to take part in this charity event?

I've never really done anything like this before- trying to raise money for a worthy cause by trying to get people to sponsor me ... So it's something I'd like to do for this hospital in Orillia. Both of my kids were premature and required extra care in the neonatal unit of the hospital where they were born (York Central in Richmond Hill), so there's that ... plus my Mom was a nurse for that the same unit in Richmond Hill, so there's that too.

* What does it mean to you personally?

The challenge to complete this distance of course as well as doing it on one of my favorite lakes makes it even more special.

*   Do you plan on taking part in this event in the future, if all goes well on Aug. 10?

That's a good question ... I am going in to this with an open mind and to see what it's like and am sure I will have a better answer once I have completed the swim ...