This week is a true testament of people I know living their potential, two good friends of mine who participated in two world events.
Chloe McCardel was the first person in the world to attempt to cross the English Channel four times in one swim and John Van Wisse my swim coach for the English Channel who took me from a non swimmer to swimming the English Channel at age 55. This week John attempted to win back his crown of the worlds most enduring and challenging triathlon in the world, the Arch 2 Arc.
The Arch 2 Arc is an event where you start at the Marble Arch in London, run 140Ks to Dover England, rest for minimal sleep, swim the English Channel 33.4 ks straight line more likely 50 ks allowing for tides, rest a little then cycle from Calais to Paris over 280k bike ride, all in three days.
John broke the world record two years ago taking 10 hours off the record. He wanted to take hours off the record again, but injured his calf and pulled out meanwhile a Frenchman took an hour off Johns record.
What is exciting about John was watching a world class athlete, reinvent himself again, he was clear on his purpose he knew what he had to focus on, he also knew what he had to activate to achieve this world record attempt again.
My observations about JVW he was clear about his purpose, he knew he needed a team of the right people who could handle his logistics and build up the event.
John’s job was to have his purpose clear, take hours off the world record. His eyes and demeanour were set for purpose.
John’s job was now to focus on what it would take. John works big hours as swim coach early morning starts from about 5am to 10.am and evening 6.30pm to 9.30pm almost daily so rest was difficult big work days and training regime to fit in but he knew what he had to focus. Rest and food were crucial to success.
His critical factors were sleep, nutrition, running, cycling and swimming over the last 12 months and work on being healthy and injury free. The above regime sounds simple, it is a giant lifestyle change about training staying healthy. JVW knows his mindset is his greatest asset. His mental preparation is where he had to stay at his strongest, the rituals, the preparation, the rest, the training, remaining healthy remaining injury free.
The English heat foiled Johns attempt to break the world record this time but his story and preparation is outstanding. He is a gentleman, brilliant swim coach, international athlete and the most mentally tough person I know on the planet.
Chloe McCardel was very influential in my channel swim, most often I met Chloe at Dendy park walking our dogs together, she was always polite and friendly but her calmness was amazing to be around and her eyes had intense focus.
Chloe’s record for attempting and succeeding is extraordinary, she manages big events around the world. When she didn’t complete her events they became a great learning for her to conquer the next world event. I don’t know a lot about Chloe’s training rituals, but again her purpose, focus and activation has to be of the highest order.
These two world champions of determination both couldn’t complete their extraordinary events this week. But the real story for these champions is what they will have learnt from these efforts to rebuild, reset and regain the right learning to complete their missions.
As a Mental Toughness activist it is wonderful knowing, observing and learning from these world champions.