"I'm going to wake up early and go down to the lake for sunrise tomorrow," I said to Charley at 10pm last night.
"What time is sunrise? I'll come with you" he replied.
A quick Google search told us sunrise was at 6am. I jumped up off the sofa and immediately started throwing things into a bag. Swimming gear, towels, cameras, water bottle and some warm clothes for post-swim. We were all set.
Since arriving in Chamonix at the end of May, we've both had our own bucket lists of adventurous, making-the-most-from-our-days activities that we want to do. For me, anything at sunrise is always high up on my list.
Last winter in London I aimed to get up at 5am once a week for a Sunrise Cycle before the world woke up, it's my favourite time of the day. Being in the Alps, I wanted to explore and Lake Passy had piqued my interest as being an ideal spot for a sunrise swim.
The alarm rang at 5am, we hit the snooze button and both fell back to sleep instantly. "Do you want to do this?" Charley asked. There was no question.
By 5:35 we were in the car and driving the 20 minutes down the valley to Lake Passy. Charley's plan was a morning kettlebells workout, I was going to run round the lake a few times then we would meet afterwards and swim. Maybe skinny dipping if there weren't too many people around...
The World is Yours
It's so easy to forget this, but the world is ours. It's there, every day begging us to make something with it. Each day is different and brings it's own possibilities and limits, it's up to us to decide which way the day will swing. Today is your day!
I'm a massive fan of training outside having spent most of my fitness life doing military fitness style bootcamps in London's parks. Now moving to Chamonix the mountains are my gym and with a few tools I can keep myself occupied and fit in a myriad of ways.
Charley opted for a kettlebell session. I found him puffing, sweating and swinging his bells after I'd done a few laps running round the lake. Amazing backdrop for a Sunday morning workout!
The lap around the lake is about 2.5kms so after three of those I was ready for a swim. The view and shades of dawn continually changed as I ran. Around the lake you can see the rocky outcrop of Plane Joux, the Alpine chalets nestled into the hillside basking in the morning sun and, as the clouds burnt away, the impressive peaks of Mont Blanc, The Bionnassay and Domes du Miage.
Swimming has always been one of my favourite sports. I'm a huge water baby and can spend hours upon hours in the water. It makes me feel refreshed, happy and free. I just love it. Charley and I messed about in the lake for a while. We had the entire lake to ourselves! No skinny dipping though as there were a few people running around. Will save that for the Alpine Coast to Coast (which starts on Friday 1st August, eek!)
I was so excited about swimming I forgot to change out of my Lorna Jane sports bra. However, this is one of my favourite sports bras as I'm a huge fan of bright colours and designs (without flowers) so maybe I'll upgrade my bikini for it!
Who knew bamboo sunglasses were a thing? Well now you do! Charley loves his bamboo sunglasses from Sundried. Always keen to support young, growing brands we're excited to be product development athletes for Kora. They make top of the range baselayers made from Himalyan Yak Wool - a perfect choice to warm up post swim. I'd also recommend checking out Sundried, they are a cool, young brand from Peru aimed at active folk. Bright designs, soft fabrics and something a little different.
By 8am we felt as though we'd well and truly earned our breakfast and we headed back to Chamonix to our favourite French patisserie. Bliss.
Today is Your Day
We all have things we want to do, small things that we put off because we're a little bit worried about them, because they require more effort, or for us to step out of the norm and do something different. TODAY IS YOUR DAY. This is the same everyday, by the way! If today all you feel like doing is kicking back and relaxing, then do it! However, if we can make small steps each day to doing the things that make us happy, feel good and feed our souls, we will fall more and more in love with our lives. That can only be a good thing!
— Sophie Radcliffe (@challengesophie) July 27, 2014
Taking great photos to capture memories is really important to me. Over the years I've been developing my adventure photography tools and now use a combination of Nikon D5300, GoPro and iPhone 5S with Lifedge waterproof case. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions about what works for you.