Impressions from his Incredible Solo Swim

Last week Chris Astill-Smith completed the incredible challenge of swimming across the English Channel in just 11 hours and 43 minutes

Having taken a few days to recover, Chris went live to answer some questions about the big swim. Below are some of the highlights.

Q: How are you feeling?

Chris: I feel better but my body still aches a lot, and for the first two days my tongue and throat were too sore (from the salt water) so I couldn’t talk. But today I managed to get off the couch and go for a walk for the first time!

Q: What did you eat while swimming, and how often?

Chris: I had a nutritionist who prescribed me various power gels, protein mixes and carbohydrate based drinks. I had to feed myself every 30 minutes while swimming.

Q: Were you scared?

Chris: I was very scared when taking off as it was pitch black. I also got badly stung in the face by a jellyfish during this time. I had a lot of nerves whilst still on the boat and the first part of the swim in the dark was terrifying, but as soon as the light came out, my thoughts become more positive.

Q: How did you overcome negative thoughts?

Chris: One of my obvious fears whilst being out in the middle of the ocean was sharks. However, I have a technique I use to “lock away” negative thoughts and it works every time. I imagine that I am putting these thoughts in a bag, locking the bag in a locker and keeping the key.


To help Chris reach his overall fundraising goal, please donate here


Q: What did you think about for 11 hours?

Chris: I thought about the lead up to the swim, sang lots of songs in my head and tried to make every 30 minutes count for something. I found that making each 30 minutes about a certain place or person was a good technique that helped to keep me going.

Q: Were there any moments when you felt you couldn’t keep going?

Chris: It wasn’t that I couldn’t- I didn’t want to when it was pitch black and I had a lot of negative thoughts. What got me to continue anyways was thinking about the embarrassment I would endure if I had to get out of the water before 3 hours had passed.

Q: Would you do it again?

Chris: Probably not. I loved this challenge but the training took a lot of out of me physically and mentally. I wasn’t able to concentrate on much else or be very productive.

Q: Do you have the challenge bug? What’s next?

Chris: My next challenge is to lose the 2 stone I gained in order to complete this swim! I’m living with a personal trainer who will no doubt whip me back into shape. I’m sure another challenge will happen at some point, but currently I want to re-focus on my business.

Q: When is the celebration?

Chris: I’m going to Portugal next week, and there will also probably be a Fulham Pub meetup around 7pm tomorrow!

Chris’ achievement is, without a doubt, incredible, and we thank him once again for his commitment to fundraising for Dreams Come True.


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Author: Hannah

Date: 31/08/2017

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