I swim therefore I am

by Emma Brown 14 Sep 2020

Can Too participant Lindsay Asquith is now a swimming convert. She overcame her fear of drowning from witnessing the destructive force of the ocean in the 2004 Tsunami.

“I went from being fearful of the ocean to it becoming my happy place,” said Lindsay.

“When I joined Can Too, I was terrified of the ocean as I was in Phuket, Thailand on Boxing Day 2004 when the Tsunami hit. We were luckily not on the beach, but on the second floor of the hotel; the first floor was badly damaged.

“I had to run with the kids to higher ground and tried to shelter them as best I could from seeing the destruction and human cost. Lots of people were worse off than us.

“The experience made us aware of how precious life is, and one of the reasons we came to live in Australia in 2006; it changed our perspective to live life to the full.”

But witnessing the aftermath of the Tsunami had left its scar on Lindsay.

“My girls were always trying to get me to swim at the beach, but I was reluctant to and wouldn’t go out of my depth. I was frightened of the ocean water after seeing its power.” 

Lindsay pictured above right with her daughter Meg.

She decided to face her fears to learn to ocean swim.

Lindsay chose Can Too for the professional coaching, group training and to raise money for cancer research.

“To help me with my fears, my first Can Too Coach Simon Buckingham said ‘try and sink’ and I then realised how difficult it was to do. I learned that if you scull and keep moving you won’t go down, and how to use this technique to circumnavigate the waves and rips as well.

She was also supported by fellow participant Robby Gee who stayed with her in the ocean ‘as she noticed I was reticent in the ocean but not in the pool’.

“Now the ocean is where I go for mindfulness. I swim all winter, three times a week, and swimming has opened a whole new group of friends to me.”

Her swim accomplishments include beating her partner Can Tooer, Ross Lentell, in the 2019 Balmoral 5km Swim for Cancer in a time of 01’57”.

“I did have a great swim and he wasn’t on his game that day as he was unwell.”

Completing a 10km swim before she turns 60 is her next big goal. 

Pictured above from left to right, Robby Gee, Ross Lentell and Lindsay Asquith.