Swapping the bike for budgie smugglers (swimmers)

Day 4

  • 1.14 mile (1.83km) swim at YMCA pool Olympia, Washington State
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
  • Snacks: none
  • Lunch: left over oats I couldn’t fit in my stomach from breakfast
  • Dinner: … not eaten but it is looking like it will be lentils and beans with chapatti bread!

Been a small food day after not doing as much exercise as the past few days but keeping the calories up as swimming can make you hungry.


So a new corner in the tour of the US and Canada while Living Below the Line…

On a beautiful sunny day I would prefer to be on the bike riding the 65 miles up the Olympic Peninsula to Quilcene but in the circumstances I also know that I would not make it, at least without cortisone injections, a team of physios and taking 20 years off the life of my right knee.

I feel good about my decision in light of a new dawn, still disappointed but keen to explore what I can make of it to educate and advocate on extreme poverty. The nice consistence is Live Below the Line and I am actually probably pretty clear on my budget a little and might fit in an egg soon!

Drum roll… what now?

I went for a swim today with my host Rich in Olympia and swimming is something I enjoy from time to time but not really dedicated to. As I was swimming it kind of came to me that I might be able to replace some bike riding with swimming…

The new uniform... Goggle and budgies are a go!

So from here on I will aim to swim a mile each day to:

  • Showcase the physical efforts of those who truly live below the line in extreme poverty (obviously usually working in the fields not swimming)
  • Have a physical component of the trip which I can’t do on bike so much
  • Interact with the community I am staying in by visiting the local pool
  • Want to get a temporary tattoo of Live Below the Line
  • I get clarity and insight when exerting myself as I would be on the bike
  • Has a novelty and fun factor to it
  • Learn about a place from it’s pool
  • See how those calories go and Living Below the Line as was my original challenge
  • Count it as my shower each day
  • I’m a crap swimmer and have no body fat so it is actually bloody hard work for me to swim that far each day
  • Gives the day some purpose, discovery and theme
  • Rehabilitate the knee (and hopefully not create a new strain!)
  • Be the person people can see as potentially being a little crazy but not as crazy as the situation where people live in extreme poverty everyday for their lives!

Today was 80 laps (more because I lost count a few times and think I did 16 laps in the 60’s) in a 25 yard pool which is 2000 yards or 1.14 miles or 1.83km. It means I nee to do 70 laps of a 25 yard pool each day (and find a pool each day!).

My dedicated, rim-eyed, goggles-press-on-the-bridge-of-my-large-broken-nose look!

I still hope to get on a few bikes from time to time but the 60 mile days are not good for my knee it seems incorporating a bit of triathlon with the usual advocacy and awareness will be fun and hopefully still have some impact.

It is not now a swimming trip but just to add a little component to it all as I aim to present and interact with as many people as possible – learn from them, share with them and inspire each other.

Budgie smugglers, goggles and chlorine eyes at the ready! Hope you continue to follow the journey and see where the pools take my mind and inspiration!

See if I can get some shoulders by the end of swimming a mile a day!


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