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A Florida woman swam the English Channel and back in 25 hours. She overcame cold water, pain physical and mental exhaustion to accomplish this challenge.

42 miles. That’s the distance one would have to swim the English Channel from Dover, England to Northern France – and back. Only 38 people have done it. Heather Roka of Ft. Myers is one of those people.

Heather always dreamed of conquering the English Channel. “Most distance swimmers, if you’re interested at all in open water, English Channel’s always like that goal,” Roka said. “The toughest people do the English Channel – that just has so much fame and attention.” She had already done the one-way swim in 2017 but the round trip was calling her name. “It really helped mentally – things like knowing I didn’t enjoy night swimming,” she said. “So going into that mindset prepared (me) that it was going to be a lot of time in the dark and how was I going handle it better than the first time.

How did she do it? Training, concentration, and mental strength….all while holding down two jobs!  Heather broke down the challenging parts of the English Channel into 30-minute slices. “You can do anything for 30 more minutes,” she told herself. “You really have to learn how to just let go and be in the moment because there’s so many factors that are out of your control,” Roka said.

Heather began her swim at 10pm on August 20th. 25 hours and seven minutes later with the legendary white cliffs of Dover in her sight, she did it and became only the 10th American to complete this challenge. Heather says there are plenty of more swims in her future.

You can read this Florida woman’s entire inspiring story here.


[SOURCE Yahoo Sports]

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