Extreme open water friends swim together

It was nice to see him so concerned about me. Later he said, “Supporting someone is really tiring. And I went, “Well, yeah!”

We feed each other. Now when one of us is successful, it’s like we both win. And it all started in a swimming pool.

Marty Filipowski and Charmian Frend: “Charmian knows what you’re capable of, so you want to try harder. “Credit:Janie Barrett

Marty: I met Charm one morning at the pool where I was on the swim training team. What struck me was that she was really watching and listening to the swimmers, being very careful. And she had a book to take notes that she would use for further discussion and planning. It works because you know she recognizes what you’re capable of, so you want to try harder.

I once heard of someone training to swim the English Channel. I said to Charm, “I am thinking of doing it too. What do you think? “She said,” I think you can do it. “

In 2012, Charm was running a cold water training camp in Melbourne. As part of that, we had to swim for eight hours in water below 16 degrees and I had hypothermia. I woke up in the back of a hot car but can’t remember how I got there. I felt like a failure, so I told him, “I question what I do. She said, “I can see an incredible swimmer in you; we can work together to overcome challenges.

On Channel Swim Day in 2013, it was a tough day. I had swam for about 11 hours [the average solo crossing time is 13½ hours] when I got to the point where I doubted myself. I stopped swimming, started walking on the water, and asked Charm what to do. She said firmly, “If you can talk, you can swim.” In the end, it took me 14 hours and 39 minutes. There were other lone swimmers in the water that day, but I was the only one to finish.

“Sometimes I almost feel like she knows me better than I do.”

We did lots of other swims: the charm allows me to open my mind to what is possible. When I work out, we talk every day: she makes the plan for how far I need to go each week and makes sure I get my massages and stick to my diet plan. And she asks me how my work is going; if i have had a long day at work, it usually means i didn’t get enough sleep. She looks at my entire life to make sure I can focus on swimming.

Charm has become like another sister to me. My family is all in the United States and there are different time zones. I have my partner here, but it’s good to know that there is someone else I can turn to immediately. Sometimes I almost feel like she knows me better than I do because she took the time to listen and think about it, when I might not have the time to take to step back and take a step back.


Charm trains and teaches at Balmoral in Sydney, so I see her in the morning and swim with her at least three days a week. Before we get into the water, we agree on where we are going. We push each other and, when we stop, we talk about the conditions or the fish we saw. The other day we could see this beautiful sunrise on one side of us and the moon on the other. We also talk about our hunger and what we are going to eat for breakfast.

The charm is very special to me; She understands me. She helped me see things in myself that I didn’t know I had.

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