As the author Geoffery Chaucer wrote “all good things must come to an end”.
A couple of years ago I mentioned in passing to the events staff from MS Limited and to the friends that help me out at the 24 Hour Mega Swim that when I hit 20 years I was going to retire from running the event. Then in 2019 I said that the following year would be my last…I don’t think anyone believed me. However I had made the decision that it was time for someone else to take the reigns at the Fitzroy Pool where the event started in 2001.
At the end of January when I had a meeting with Greg at MSL, I really don’t think he still believed me until I reiterated that all the stuff I had in my front room for Mega Swim was going back with the staff from MSL once the event was finished this year on the 29th of February! It finally sank in that ‘yes’ I was definitely retiring. Even one of my good friends who takes part on my team in the swim asked me if this really was my last one! Why oh why did no one believe me?! But yes ‘all good things must come to an end’. I felt it was time to move on, 20 years was enough.
Our goal this year was to raise $125,000.00 for the weekend of February 28th-29th but with the major bushfires we have had this year in Australia I was going to be happy with just hitting $100,00.00. Everyone in the country had been giving to different appeals for the last 3 months and I was sure that they would be donated out!
We had just over 500 swimmers take the plunge and so far have raised just over an incredible $142,000.00, well beyond what I thought was capable this year. So a heartfelt thank you to all those who took part in the event and to all those donated again!
On the Saturday with a few hours to go I had a number of people say to me that I would be sad or have tears at the end of the day but to be honest I knew I wouldn’t because I knew it was time! Sometimes in life we just know when it is time to let go of something and do something new. I am so grateful to all the people over the years who have not only taken part in the swim but have also donated money and their time to volunteer at the swim. I would hate to count the number of hours they would have donated to the cause.
I would also like to publicly thank Deidre McEwen, Jacqui Loveridge, Judy Condie and Annie Davie (and the Fitzroy Rotary Club) for all their love and help over the last 20 years! Also to thank my team the “Yarra Babes”…when we started we were ‘Babes’, then most of the team had their own ‘Babes’ and now we are the ‘Golden Babes’! My core group of friends from the beginning Clare, Rosie, Heather, Yvonne and Naomi, thank you for being you and supporting me all those years (and all those Yarra Babes we roped in over the years!).
Through this swim I have met so many people who have become true friends, I’ve seen relationships evolve, with marriages and babies born. But we have also lost some amazing people in Bruce and Del who hopefully will live on in the awards that are handed out to participants each year. We were all young and unknowing of how big this swim would become at the beginning, but I am so proud of what we have all done. The event is entrenched into the MSL family and I look forward to seeing how it will evolve and continue to flourish in the coming years, albeit from the sidelines!