14-year-old swims the width of Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake swimmer accomplishes long-time goal

Madison Fox developed a fondness for swimming at a young age. (Contributed photo)

Madison Fox developed a fondness for swimming at a young age. (Contributed photo)

On the morning of Aug. 14, Sylvan Lake resident Madison Fox was cheered by supporters as she swam across the width of Sylvan Lake.

Determined to achieve this long-time goal, Fox started out from her cottage in Half Moon Bay, and after a tireless swim for an hour and 20 minutes, she set herself a new record.

“The biggest reason why I wanted to swim across Sylvan Lake is because it’s been a huge goal of mine for quite a long time. Not only was it a goal of mine but I wanted a challenge to show people who I am, and what I could accomplish and now I have realized how proud I am of myself,” shared Fox.

“I think that I’m very lucky to have the supporters I had when I was swimming across the lake because if I didn’t have these people right beside me along the way, it would have been a lot more difficult.”

Swimming the distance did have its challenges.

“The most difficult part for me was that I was in this big lake staring down at nothing but darkness. I couldn’t see much, which was pretty freaky. Another thing was that it was pretty hard to control my breathing because all that was going through my head when I was swimming across this lake was that ‘should I breath every one (stroke), should I breath every three (strokes) or should I take a break?’ It was difficult keeping the same breathing pattern,” she said.

Developing a fondness for swimming at a young age, Fox gripped on to every opportunity that came her way to further her passion. From a simple opportunity of being in water, to joining competitive swim clubs, Fox was on her toes for it all.

Fox shared, “I’m usually always in the lake 24/7, either just for fun swimming or practicing. Some days I would practice with my support swimmer Shelly and we would just swim to the buoys and back a couple times. Somedays I would get up a bit early and go for runs or walks to keep me in shape and ready for the swim.”

The ambitious swimmer looks at this achievement as the start of her adventures. Fox shared, “I did this because life’s too short to wait and see if you can accomplish something big. I know I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a long time and I even told my mom that I couldn’t wait another year to do this and that I was ready to do it. I knew that I needed a different and new challenge to make me feel nervous but also excited. I’m extremely happy that I did this because now I can say I swam across Sylvan Lake. But I did this for myself, so I could feel proud of what I accomplished.

“Now that I can say I’ve swam the width of Sylvan Lake, maybe next summer I can try to swim there and back or even the length of it. My goal is to get even farther every year and see what else I can accomplish, and so I can have even more of a challenge. My goal is to try my best in swimming and to push myself to see how far I can get. My biggest dream is to go to the Olympics one day. I know that it’s a very big dream, but, it’s always good to dream big.”