Sunday Success – Charlie’s solo challenge

Charlie Frith is out Team Energised #SundaySuccess this week and will receive a £7 voucher to use this week off any service we offer 🙂

Charlie is an Energised Gain The Edge client completed a Solo Channel Swim & Cycle to Paris from Dover & Calais a few weeks ago. Have a read of her success in tackling the challenge and the important funds she raised for charity in memory of her good friend…..



This year Kim and Energised Performance have been supporting me as I undertook the biggest challenge of my life. My aim was to swim from Dover to France and then cycle from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe to raise money for Samaritans and RAF Benevolent Fund in memory of a good friend, Sqn Ldr Ant Downing, who died in December 2011 serving in Afghanistan. Ant had been due to undertake the gruelling Enduroman Arch to Arc challenge in 2012; this was my version of it in his honour.

Stepping off the pebbles of Shakespeare Beach, Dover at 2.30 in the morning into the black waters of the Channel to swim for France can only be described as a surreal experience. After the initial half an hour when the brain is a complete jumble of “gosh, this is it” and “it’s the middle of the night – go back to bed!”, I settled into a rhythm and, apart from kicking a large jellyfish just after the third hourly feed, the hours of swimming blended into one another. The sun rose, the sky was clear and for most of the swim the winds were fairly light. My wonderful crew kept me fed, checked I was physically and mentally ok, and passed on messages of support. Unfortunately, after about 13 hours I got stuck on the turning tide in French waters and after 14 and a half hours my pilot made the call that I was not progressing and halted the swim.

Little Charlie, big ship







Little Charlie, Big Ship


Despite the bitter disappointment of not making it to France, I was determined to carry on with the bike leg. We motored up to Calais to meet my long-suffering parents who had transported my bike to France and were to be my support crew for the next stage.

After a night’s rest, some much needed texts of support from Kim and an impromptu phone consultation with my physio on a sore shoulder, I set off for Paris. The coastal road from Calais proved to be somewhat undulating, however I was grateful for the good road surfaces, nice weather and the generally high level of respect French lorry drivers give cyclists! Rolling into the Picardy region, I discovered that this department had spent considerably less than Calais on its road surfaces and, as well as farming potatoes, farms wind! Wind turbines dotted the landscape for miles, with the accompanying headwind making the going tough particularly on some of the long climbs.

After a couple of days of hot, sticky weather, the storm clouds were brewing and, heading for the suburbs of Paris, they broke with a heavy downpour, thunder, lightening and hail! We then had the tricky task of navigating the rush hour traffic through the suburbs and into the centre of Paris, which proved to be a nerve-shredding experience for us all – not least when I skidded and crashed into the pavement on a greasy, wet road. Finally, at about 8pm on Thursday 18th, I turned onto the Champs Élysées and, battered, bruised, bloodied but not beaten, pedalled the final few metres to the Arc de Triomphe.

Charlie bike arc


I first met Kim through the beginners’ triathlon squad at my club, Serpentine RC, in 2012 when she ran two ‘Gain the Edge’ workshops for us. Her incredible energy, positivity and enthusiasm shone through, so when I was struggling to balance the demands of training, work, life and daunted by the sheer enormity of what I’d taken on, there was no contest as to who to turn to for advice and support. Kim’s encouragement, guidance and gentle nudging ensured that I focused on the right things, ate properly and got a plan in place.

So far, I have raised over £6,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Samaritans – I absolutely could not have done this without the support of Kim who ensured that I did not just get to the start line, but made it all the way to Paris.



If you have a goal that seems too big or finding your own mind is getting in the way of something you want to achieve, consider taking part in one of Coach Kim’s Gain The Edge Workshops – Using NLP, Hypnotherapy and Sports Visualisation techniques this training workshop will give you a taster into how to increase your mental strength, remove limiting behaviour and give you the edge, whilst increasing your enjoyment in sport…