The Freezing February Challenge
On February 1st this year, I had gone for a swim with my swimming buddy Sam at Leasowe Beach. Conditions weren’t the easiest for swimming, it was cold and there were very strong winds making the water far too choppy to actually get a decent swim in. There weren’t many people on the beach at the time as it was a high, high tide, meaning that the sand on the beach was rapidly being covered by the incoming water. There was though, one notable individual on the beach about to take the first plunge of a month of cold dips.
Dave Bolton, founder of Ahead Of The Game Foundation, is someone who can be described as being truly inspirational. To try and sum up the adversity he has been through here just wouldn’t do it justice but it’s been a lot, and he’s still smiling and he’s still driving himself on. (His full story which really should be read can be found at https://www.davebolton.co.uk/dave-story ). On that day Dave was just starting our on his Freezing February challenge, a month of daily cold water swims. The aim of this challenge is to highlight both the mental health benefits and the physical benefits of cold water therapy and to raise awareness of the Ahead Of The Game Foundation. Amongst other things, this charity works to support individuals with rehabilitation where it is needed due to poor health or terminal illness, something Dave certainly knows about. He is also raising awareness for speaking out about mental and financial health for Mersey Counselling and Therapy Centre
As swimmers tend to do, we got chatting to Dave after his dip about the challenge and we decided to try and catch up with him when time and conditions allowed. Mid-February we went with Dave on a road trip to Bala Lake in North Wales which meant I had the opportunity to my slr into the water rather than just using my iPhone for some portrait images of him during his challenge.
Unlike Dave, some of us need a wetsuit. I can of course say that it is for work purposes as one of the advantages of having a thicker wetsuit is that I’m able to stay in the water for much longer than I would without. To be honest I probably would only be in a couple of minutes without it. As my core body temperature stays warm it makes it a lot easier to work with the camera in it’s waterproof housing.
Anyway, back to the challenge, Dave has got just one week of his challenge left, you can follow his journey on Instagram at @aheadofthegame_foundation and @dave_bolton_inspires
You can make a donation to theCancer Rehabilitation Health and Wellbeing Programme run by A Head of The Game at https://bit.ly/2Yu9FqP
To further support Dave and his amazing Ahead Of The Game Foundation, there will be a donation of £10 made from each print sale of the limited edition “After The Storm” print available at https://shop.saraporterphotography.co.uk/product/after-the-storm