Lake Taupo 40.2km Ange Moir
On February 18 2018 at 3.11am I entered the waters of Lake Taupo NZ, 15hours 38minutes later I crawled out at the other end. Today it seems hard to believe that 5 years ago I was struggling to swim 250m in 45minutes. When I entered my first Ocean Swim of 2.8k, I wondered at times if I was crazy, but I completed that swim and was hooked. It took me 2 years of working alone before I took a mate’s insistent advice to go to Dan Abel and from that point on I haven’t looked back. Dan and I worked closely together over these last 3 years. I really enjoy fine-tuning the mechanics of my technique. At first, I just wanted to get faster, to race no more than 3k, not believing I had the ability to actually follow my true dreams of long distance. But Dan believed in me and gave me confidence to tell him my dream and we formulated a plan.
We started with a 10k race at Epic Taupo, very soon after this an old shoulder injury took hold and I ended up doing months of rehab. Not wanting to be out of the water I spent 3months doing 2k of kick 6 days a week along with an intense shoulder stabilisation program. There were many tears during this time, frustration and fear; was something I loved so much going to be taken away before I even started? This drove me to do the best rehab ever and 11 months later I showed myself I was ok by swimming 17.5k at Epic Taupo. An emotional swim to say the least. During these months of rehab Dan was behind me the whole time calmly guiding me and keeping me as positive as he could. I have the best support ever. My husband Barry is always the calm amongst the chaos that is in my head. A great support team is always vital and I have the best, two mates also joined me on some kick sessions just to keep me sane.
We had a fantastic 2016/17 season. I finally succeeded at the end, in March, to go no wetsuit for an amazing 17k swim of Lake Kaniere with Dan, Barry and my mate Chloe as support. For me this was massive, that wetsuit was a security blanket and I no longer needed it!
I am not an easy client……with asthma and needing a lot of fuel with a fast metabolism, I also have a blood pressure that drops dramatically. No sporting background has meant a lot of learning. I can be very hard on myself as a lot of adults can be. But Dan, Barry and great mates stuck by me and have helped me believe in myself and see that I can succeed and don’t need to beat myself up over every little mistake. I love training so much and Dan coaches me so I no longer constantly swim myself to exhaustion, he helps me see it’s ok to say I’m tired and gives me rest. I have and always will train alone, whilst this at times can be lonely, I drive myself relentlessly. Dan’s job is to hold me back. I believe in myself more now than ever in my life, you are never too old or unfit to change your life if you are ready and prepared to make the sacrifices necessary.
Now here we are……2018.
We started with Epic Taupo once again, this time however, no wetsuit. I did a pretty good job of this, slower than I wanted but I came in for extra feeds and Dan wanted me finishing capable of a big swim the next day if I needed to. I felt ace. This was my final big swim and now it was time to wait for Taupo. I waited…….and I waited. I felt very antsy but as always Dan was very understanding. Barry, was calm which I needed. Suddenly I got the call from Dan, he said later when he told me my swim window started in 6 days he heard my panic. No more cheek just one syllable answers. We prepared, Barry and I flew up Thursday. Dan and my friend Melissa joined us on Saturday with another mate Mike who was also keen to come on and be my support. My IRB crew of Philip Rush, Dan and Mike are all accomplished marathon swimmers, an amazing team that I trusted explicitly.
Sunday was game on. It was scary swimming in the dark for the first time but I just got on with it. My body was screaming at times with pain and fatigue but with the support of my crew, I could carry on. The mind says you are exhausted and the pain is too much but actually the body can endure so much more. Hearing your crew cheer you on is incredibly uplifting. Finally, I touched sand and crawled out. The longest swim I’ve ever done. I was proud at the end, no tears this time. I crawled out and then managed to stand triumphant, a few photos…..then I crashed hard. I couldn’t walk and the world was spinning. But my team got me back to the rooms, showered and the thing I had been looking forward to……..a meat lovers BBQ PIZZA!