Unfortunately, I was unable to interview Barb for this article as she was too busy with media commitments, which is understandable as it seems like you can't turn on the TV, listen to the radio or pick up a newspaper without Barb featuring. Consequently, the story herein is largely based on hearsay, rumours and gossip you pick up spending too much time hanging around the pool and beach.
To start with, I just happened to be listening to 6PR the other morning when Barb was being interviewed and heard her say, "30 crossings just sort of happened". I thought to myself "Bullshit"!
Like who goes down to Cottosloe and accidentally swims to Rottnest - 30 times. You could understand that maybe, once or twice, on a hot day you might go down to Cottosloe, accidentally swim too far out and say to yourself, "Oh well, I might as well keep going to Rottnest"! But not 30 times - that doesn't "just happen".
No, we have to face facts - Barb is a world class marathon swimmer. Now I know that is hard to believe, given: she's not up herself or blows her own horn, and she doesn't swan around ignoring all us swimming hacks. Instead, she loves a chat and freely gives of her time to help others with their swimming.
A good example of this apparent paradox is this anecdote recounted to me the other day - When chatting to a new member in the change rooms after one of their first swims at Doddi's, Barb asked, "How far did you swim?" Understandably, the swimmer was a little awe struck just being in Barb's presence and sheepishly replied, "I did 1 km". Barb replied, "Same as me."
Barb, thank you for being you, you are an inspiration to us all and we wish you a fantastic 30th and many more!