On the Edge: Edmonton's Steven Hugens the first Canadian to complete Hawaiian channel swim

EDMONTON - Some guys try to ward off their mid-life crisis by buying a Corvette or a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Steven Hugens took to the water to mark his 50th birthday, becoming the first Canadian to complete a solo island-to-island channel swim in Hawaii.

Locals there couldn’t believe the landlocked Edmontonian trained in city pools for his 14-kilometre (8.8-mile) open water swim in the Pacific Ocean, he says.

Swimming 6,000 metres (3.7 miles), five times a week for a year, prepared him physically for the challenge. But it was mental training that got him through the gruelling Pacific swells, currents, seasickness and a jellyfish sting to the face.

Mental and emotional endurance are often overlooked when preparing for an event of this magnitude, Hugens says, but they’re 60 per cent responsible for your success.

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