Trent Grimsey is without a doubt one of the greatest open water swimmers on the planet. He’s the swam the English Channel faster than anyone, he’s won the FINA Grand Prix series and stood a top many podiums during his career. A couple of months ago he announced his retirement from open water swim racing. However, a great athlete like Trent can’t be held back. He’s taken a courageous look at himself and realizes he’s got a lot more racing inside of him. So next up he’s got an eye on something truly mind-blowing; competing in 2015 Enduroman Arch to Arc Ultra Triathlon. Here’s what Trent has to say about the next step in his athletic career:
I have some exciting news to share with you today. I have signed up to complete the London to Paris triathlon in September of 2015. This event is known as the Enduroman Arch to Arc ultra-distance Triathlon. Starting with a 140km run from London’s Marble Arch to Dover on the Kent coast, then the 34km English Channel swim to the French coast, it finishes with a 290km cycle from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The sheer distance of this triathlon is why only 13 athletes to date have ever completed the distance. The world record currently stands at 73 hours 39 minutes and is held by Englishman Mark Bayliss. I will be attempting this record!
Why am I doing this?
Since deciding to hang up my togs and retire from swimming earlier this year in January, I’d started to fall into a bad place. I had no goals and had lost all motivation to do any form of exercise anymore.
You hear all the time about ex professional athletes suffering depression after retiring and having a hard time trying to adjust to life after their careers. I thought for sure this wouldn’t happen to me. I had a loving family, beautiful girlfriend and supportive friends. I had nothing at all to be depressed about, but it was happening. I was too embarrassed to speak to anyone about it because I didn’t want to be seen as weak or have people change the way they thought of me. Every month it seemed to get a little worse. I was very unsocial, moody and completely unmotivated to do anything.
I guess September was the turning point. A few things happened in this month one after another that made me think I can’t keep going like this, something has to change. I really had two options: I could have stayed on the path I was on or I could try and get my life back in order by setting myself some new goals and challenges.
On a recent trip to England with one of my friends I heard about this crazy triathlon athletes did from London to Paris. It got me thinking would I be able to do something like that?
Being an endurance athlete I really couldn’t see a better endurance event then this ultra-distance triathlon to make my new goal. I already have the connection with the English Channel so it made sense.
What will be my biggest challenges?
Not having ever run seriously before or having never ridden a road bike will definitely be my two biggest challenges. I’ll spend the next 6 to 8 months learning the ropes on the bike and getting my running technique down pat. From there I’ll slowly start building up the kms. I could have booked in for 2014 but decided to hold off for 2015 as I’m going to give this thing a real crack!
Whereas before when I was swimming I was a ‘professional’ athlete, things this time around will be very different. I now have a full time job and my part time coaching on top of that, so I obviously have to work my training in around all of that. Time management will play a big roll but that’s what excites me about this new challenge.
I thrive on that feeling of being under pressure. When things seem near impossible, it’s when I perform my best.
I’ll keep regular blogs and updates between now and race day to let everyone know how I’m traveling.
You can also follow my journey on Facebook. Make sure you ‘like’ my page: Trent Grimsey – Marathon Swimmer.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence - (Helen Keller)