A good friend has been making waves in the media this week and I reckon she’s either an amazingly talented and inspirational person or a completely unhinged nutcase.
Gosport’s Anna Wardley is an extreme swimmer. She puts her body and mind through complete hell to raise money for charity.
She swam the Channel, the Straits of Gibraltar and has thrashed through icy slush in Finland.
If there’s an expanse of water and it’s not navigable by normal people, Anna is eyeing it up.
She’s mid-way through her biggest feat to date – her 5 Island Swim Challenge. She’s hoping to raise £50,000 for charities that save and change lives.
Last year she swam around Portsmouth. As she swam across the creek at the north of the island she had to contend with nature’s own poisonous pie – contaminated seawater, topped with two inches of human-generated froth, delicately sprinkled with a generous inch of pigeon droppings.
Looking at it would make your eyes burn, let alone repeatedly dunking your entire head into the fetid goober.
I spoke to Anna this week as she returned from training in the Med, in preparation for her next swims.
Whilst she was training, the opportunity to swim the Cabrera Channel (between the islands of Mallorca and Cabrera) arose.
A mere 17 miles of jellyfish-infested ocean later, she surfaced as the first woman to swim the distance.
Later this year Anna will swim 60 miles around the Isle of Wight…in a oner.
Let’s put this into perspective. It’ll take her around 30 hours to complete – just being awake, sitting on the sofa eating crisps, for 30 hours seems humanly impossible.
Continuously swimming, dealing with ships, tides, eating, drinking, occasionally falling asleep (still swimming) for a day-and-a-quarter requires unthinkable mental and physical strength.
You can help this inspiring, hardy, committed, uncompromising nutter turn the tide in other people’s lives by making any form of donation at annawardley.com.