JOHN Sheely loves testing his own limits.
The Warrnambool-based athlete is gearing up for a gruelling 26-kilometre swim in Switzerland's Lake Zurich next year.
A long and testing preparation period awaits Sheely - an experienced ocean swimmer - but motivation is at an all-time high.
Sheely said Warrnambool swimming coach Jayson Lamb would help devise a detailed training program.
I'll still swim in the bay but I'll do a lot of freshwater swimming the Merri and Hopkins as well.John Sheely
"I'll still swim in the bay but I'll do a lot of freshwater swimming the Merri and Hopkins as well," he told The Standard.
"I'll also be doing a lot of pool swimming. With Aquazone's 50-metre pool shut until March, I'll probably travel to Ballarat to get the kilometres up.
"I'm very fortunate with my training and that the (Warrnambool Masters Swimming Club) is very generous with time and helping me with training partners."
Sheely, who works as a curator at the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens, first heard of the swim while travelling to Geneva earlier this year.
He was immediately captivated.
"It's fantastic, a great opportunity," Sheely said.
"I was very fortunate to be accepted because apparently they don't often accept first-time applicants.
"I thought I might get knocked back but I must've slipped through."
While the chance to package overseas swims with holidays is appealing, Sheely has never tired of competing against himself.
"It's more of a mind game than anything," he said.
"It's not that it's not physical but I just enjoy the mental challenge of competing against myself."
The swim - dubbed the Sri Chinmoy Marathon - is locked in for August 9.
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