By Justin Flynn
Months after Covid sent the world into lockdown, Barwon Heads personal trainer Justin Moran sat down with his wife Lauren to watch the documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’.
The show follows a South African man who ventures into the ocean every day without fail to bond with an octopus and films his interactions.
It gave Justin an idea. He set out to enter the ocean, river, creek, lake or pool (as long as it wasn’t heated) for 365 consecutive days without a wetsuit.
Justin’s business, Just In Time Personal Training, turned eight on October 1 last year so that was the perfect day to start the challenge. He successfully completed it on September 30 this year.
Justin describes himself as a ‘go go’ person who can’t sit still.
“To get into board shorts, grab a towel and then walk, ride or drive to the beach every day, jump in, dry off and then come home would effectively be a 15 to 30 minute exercise,” he said.
“It would allow me to slow down, enjoy the scenery, take the plunge into cold, and sometimes really cold, water which would take me out of my comfort zone and even though I pride myself on my mental strength and resilience, it would really push me mentally and take me to another level.
“It was also something that I don’t know of another person that has embarked on such a challenge and that made it something original and exciting.”
There was one day that Justin nearly forgot to enter the water, but he managed to complete it at 11.40pm.
It quickly became the highlight of Justin’s day although the early days required a “mental psych-up”.
“I would genuinely look forward to it and felt amazing after almost, if not, every day’s swim,” he said.
“My mind remains calm and I have a real connection with nature and marine life.”
Justin said it was amusing to see the reactions from many people who thought he was a “lunatic” over the 365 days.
“But it always brought a smile to people watching,” he said.
“I have no fear of going into the ocean on even the coldest of days and I am certain that will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
Justin said he never started out to complete the task for charity.
“When I started this little adventure, I didn’t plan or want to align myself with a charity and make people feel compelled to donate money to a cause,” he said.
“It was merely a challenge for me. Over time though I had a number of friends and clients mention that I should have done so.
“So, if this has motivated you and you feel like you want to, please by all means I would like to nominate the National Breast Cancer Foundation.”