Together with Mark Leighton in 2018, John Myatt completed the first double crossing of the English Channel by a two-person male relay and they swam from England to France in 10 hours 41 minutes and from France back to England in 12 hours 8 minutes in a time of 22 hours 49 minutes.
He wrote about his humble beginnings in the sport, “It is not always possible to smile, sometimes we all feel a little trapped inside our own minds, and find it difficult to face the daily grind, depression is real and I’ll be the first to admit I find it difficult to find that mental equilibrium. Winter swimming in ice cold water gave me an endorphin and serotonin boost, second to none which was a huge pick me up.”
In addition to channel swimming, Myatt has also gotten into ice swimming and marathon swimming. “Seven years ago whilst sitting in my arm chair, I would never have dreamed that I would be able to accomplish such great feats. I did not realize then, when I was looking for help, that I was the one that needed to change. I was a bit of an armchair procrastinator, although I also wanted to swim and achieve.
I always put it off until tomorrow and was void of self belief after going through a stage of depression. After reaching out to people for help, I realized that I was the one who needed to change and make the first steps. I searched online and signed up to a group swimming The Solent, which I was very nervous about. I completed The Solent – 3 miles – in 2012, which was my mountain / channel back then.
I fell in love with open water swimming and have never looked back. I think everybody just needs to find a starting point as small chunk size achievements can really help boost your self-esteem. With a full-time job and young family, I hope to inspire others and show them that from very small beginnings and through commitment, ordinary people can go on to achieve bigger and better things and fulfill their potential, this applies to all sport and life in general. There are lots of super heroes out there, they just don’t know it yet.”
Copyright © 2008-2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association