These are the tough conditions we were faced with, but did they face us? Hell no. Torrential rain over the last 48 hours has effectively polished our roads of dog poo and miscellaneous cr*p (where might it have gone..?), and the sea was one which would scare even the roughest of marine biologists, but did that deter any of the Bold and Beautiful? Nope. At least not 78 of us, including three unsuspecting newbies enterering the ocean armed with Mental Toughness.
Some, like Tania, had already done an early swim. The permanent rip in the corner of South Steyne greeted her and tried to persuade her to have another one, but as she has a job to go to, I'm sure she was grateful to Jim for anchoring her small frame in the big surf and helping her get to work on time.
Other survivors from the early swim include Nanette and Peter...
...and Drinky, here depicted effectively camouflaging the post traumatic stress with a convincing smile.
This daily sprouter, aka Murray Fraser, was the only one appropriately dressed for the occasion. Here he is sporting a fetching mix of greys interspersed with an even more fetching grin. The B&B are featured in Murray's esteemed blog the Sprout Daily today.
The skies were ominous but fantastic, as if taken out of a religious pamphlet, possibly one illustrating doomsday.
No-one off the point noticed the doomsday connection, though. Some even behaved as if this was a sunny, happy day to celebrate with clownery and silly stunts. Go Sparkles!
With the risk of being typecast as a cheesy Self-help, Life-coachy sort of B&B blogger, I apologize for yet another one making me come across as a pretentious Deep & Meaningful Wannabe. Today's blog is inspired somewhat by the strategies for mental toughness posted by a guy called Jack Yee in the Primal Blueprint's newletter.
His strategies were aimed at overcoming that well-known hurdle of pain and exhaustion during physical exercise, but they totally resonated with me relating to all challenges in life, whatever they may be.
Some people, like Jeff here, rise just after midnight to get to Manly in time for our 7am daily swims. Jeff lives in Paddington but is a regular with us.
Proof that the members of our swim squad are a sturdy, resilient and mentally hardy lot is abundant in the following photos. Having overcome conditions reminiscent of a natural disaster, these people arrive at Shelly Beach and glow.
"Mental toughness is the ability to overcome adversity. It is a skill that can be honed and strengthened. The problem is most people don’t see how advantageous it is be mentally strong. They think toughness development is only for competitive athletes. However, we all participate in the cruelest sport of them all – life. If you are weak, the harshness of this world can destroy your spirit and hinder your health recovery. If you are you are mentally weak, you will always be susceptible to falling apart during a personal crisis", says Jack Yee.
This mindset came in handy as some of us tried (successfully!) to exit the ocean at Halfway Beach.
"Being mentally tough means continuing the fight, no matter how much your strength seems to be fading." Ian approves with a big smile, while Bev is just happy to come out in one piece.
"The ultimate sign of a tough-minded person with a strong will is they have the ability to come back stronger than ever even when they seemed completely down and out", continues Mr Yee, and he was specifically referring to Attracta's strong comeback this morning (with the helping hands of Russel).
"Optimizing Positive Self-Talk and Visualization Skills We talk to ourselves all the time. What you say to yourself can have a profound effect on your actions and feelings." Here's me and Lori visualising a great weekend ahead.
"Mantras are a great way to teach you the relationship of how the mind can lead the body. Repeating them over and over can be very hypnotic as they will lead you into action."
Izzy's mantra this morning echoed repeatedly between the buildings at Bower. It sounded like "Next time I feign helplessness I must make sure I do it when Russel and his helpful hands are assisting by the steps."
Jane had it all worked out - was helped by no less than three hunky male swimmers as well as Lori the Brave.
Having fished an assortment of mermaids out at Halfway Beach, we wonder back to Manly only to find the essence of mental toughness in the shape of Eeeelaine. We stood and watched her for a good 15 minutes.
But even the toughest of the tough need a coffee break. Every morning when we arrive, the staff at Bluewater Cafe get a chance to display their mental toughness.
WINTER BADGE – Starts June 1st. To qualify swim minimum 20 times in 7 different weeks. Each week starts on a Monday and there are 14 weeks in the season.
AND if you go without a wetsuit you also qualify for the Winter Without Wetsuit (WWW) badge! Put a W by your name every time you tick the attendance.
To celebrate the start of Winter Badge Season which is a Saturday (1 June) – please come down wearing a ONE-SIE (or jumpsuit) – the funnier the better!!
AND let's make it a charity event!
Please bring a gold coin on Sat June 1st and we will donate it to the Royal Far West Hopsital!
Speaking of badges there is also another NEW BADGE – the 500 km badge! See the Pacific Challenge top left of the blog to see how many km's you've swum – if you've hit 500 or more you get a badge....(for $10)
33 People have already qualified for their badge – they will be presented at our NEXT monthly dinner at Bluewater – Tuesday 4th June at 6.30pm (or any time after that night). See the “management” for more details!
ALSO at the above dinner one of our swimmers Dr Ray Hodgson will be giving a talk about the work he does in Nepal with women who suffer prolapse after child birth. He organises trips for volunteers for 2 week stints and is always looking out for more volunteers to go to Nepal and help. If you want to hear from someone who is making a difference to peoples lives and want to find out what you can do to help, then come along to the dinner.
TO BOOK INTO THE NEXT MONTHLY DINNER PLEASE RSVP HERE!!
We want to get as MANY people as we can that night so we can book the whole restaurant out!!!! Remember it's only $20 for a starter AND main course of delicious food!! Desserts and drinks are only $5 each and no corkage on wine!! Bluwater now offer a special $25 menu too.
Special offer from Whitewater . . .
Exclusive offer for all the Bold and the Beautiful swimmers, Whitewater is pleased to offer all Bold and Beautiful swimmers 25% off your entire bill *(valued up to $30). Join us for lunch or dinner at Whitewater restaurant, Manly. Please mention this offer when making your reservation to ensure you receive the discount. Reservations: call 02 9977 0322 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 02 9977 0322 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Offer valid until 30th June 2013 * not valid in conjunction with any other offer * Only one discount per bill *Discount does not apply for breakfast
Izzy's MMMs (Manly Movies Mob) is on this coming Tuesday 28th May, all welcome!
While there has been little wave action to test the surf skills, you never know when the sea will show its turbulent side. Stay safe by knowing how to read the signs with these water safety tips courtesy of champion Ironman Craig 'Riddo' Riddington. It’s a great read and can help keep you safe in the surf. To read, or even download click here.
Special thanks to contributing photographers Nick Dawkins and Stephen Coulter! Wishing you all plenty of Mental Toughness and a lovely weekend, signing out is your Girl Friday blogger Anna