This is Paul’s Story
I chose to swim the Tickle as it has been a goal of mine since I started swimming open water a few years ago. It just seemed like a really fun goal as it, the Tickle, is well known but not too many people have swam it.
I am pretty lucky to know a good group of swimmers who like to swim distance in the ponds during the summer. I did my best to get out in the pond a few times a week with them so as to build my endurance. I did not swim competitively when I was younger so swimming A LOT helped to compensate for my lack of technique. I also did a shorter 3K ocean swim to Random Island with 2 friends/swimmers a few weeks before the Tickle which helped my confidence for the Tickle Swim for Mental Health.
My biggest challenge was/is my unrealistic fear of large marine life. With my swimming wetsuit, cap, etc… I didn’t think the temperature would be an issue, but all I kept thinking, foolishly, was that I’d see a whale go by below me… and that would have been a little overwhelming.
[The Tickle Swim] went great actually. Perfect even. I had a great kayaker (Darren McDonald) there to support me, one of my good friends and training partners (Barry Yetman) swimming close by, and the conditions were ideal. There was a little swell on, but no chop on the water so that allowed me to just get in a rhythm and aim for the beach.
The whole experience has been great. I accomplished a personal goal and by doing that people have been donating to an association/cause that I truly believe is essential in our society.
I won’t go into too much personal detail, but over the years I have struggled at times with my own issues and, fortunately, have progressed through them positively with the help of family, friends, athletic pursuits and information. There are a lot of people out there who can benefit from what the CMHA-NL has to offer so helping in any way I can, in this case swimming to fundraise and increase awareness, just seemed right.