This weekend’s Mt Martha Australia Day Swim (MMAD) will mark a momentous occasion for peninsula local, Robbie Peime.
More than a decade ago his life was turned upside down by a motorbike accident which left him in a wheelchair, however that hasn’t stopped him achieving some remarkable goals, including formidable Ironman challenges and competing in triathlons.
Speaking to the Swimming Australia website in the lead up to his first solo swimming event, Peime detailed how he managed to turn his mindset around post his motorcycle accident.
“I spent the first five or six years focussing on all the things that I couldn’t do, not so much the things that I could do, and then about two years ago I got introduced to triathlon,” he said.
“I completed my first Ironman in June last year and now I’ve decided to scale that side of it back and see how I go in sprint distance stuff and hone-in on my swimming.”
The MMAD Swim is one of the feature events on the open water swimming calendar and is coordinated by the Mt Martha Lifesaving Club.
With a race to suit all abilities, the event incorporates a 200m Benton Road Vet Clinic Nipper swim, a 5km Engine swim and the main event of the day, which is a 1.2km Yomojo swim.
The inspirational 28-year-old will compete in the main race and has pledged the 1.2km distance to team ‘Surf Life Saving Australia’ in the Lap Australia Challenge, which officially kicked off on Saturday 19 January.
Training for triathlon and swimming events has proven beneficial for Peime, who say it aids his positive outlook and day-to-day life.
“I find the thing about long distance events and endurance sports like triathlon and swimming, really helps with my physical and mental wellbeing, which are two things that I need to succeed in a wheelchair,” he said.
“You need to be mentally strong because everything is that little bit harder, getting out of bed is harder, showering, getting into the car, all these things, and also that the physical side of it as well, where the stronger I am, the more able I am and the less I reply on other people.”
The MMAD Swim is one of seven open water events taking place across the country on Australia Day, for location details click here.