Red2Blue ambassador Louis Alexander has successfully completed his latest extreme challenge! The multi-discipline adventurer swam from Europe to Asia, crossing the Hellespont and Dardanelles strait in Turkey – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
This swim is said to be the oldest in history, first completed in 1810 by the poet, Lord Byron, when he was 22 years-old. Louis, who is also 22, managed to beat Byron’s time by 2 minutes. He completed the swim in 1 hour 8 minutes, smashing his own 2-hour goal and taking 5th place in his age group.
While this is the first time Louis has attempted a swimming challenge, he’s no stranger to extreme environments. He counts running 17 marathons in 17 consecutive days, rowing across the English Channel, and summiting Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc amongst his many achievements. Whether he’s climbing mountains or crossing oceans, what transcends the different activities and keeps Louis going is his mindset.
“With any extreme challenge, I face an abundance of uncontrollable obstacles,” said Louis. “What I always have control of is my attention, and how I use my Red2Blue skillset to keep control of that attention when confronting those obstacles. That’s what helps me to remain on task and focused.”
Louis’ swim, like all his other challenges, was to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the charity leading the fight against dementia. Louis began supporting the charity after his grandfather’s 17-year-long struggle with dementia. “I made a promise at his funeral to support the charity until the day we find a cure and I’m very proud to be keeping that promise,” he says. “These adventures are my true passion in life, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support they receive.” We’ll be talking to Louis more about his adventures in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, you can support his fundraising efforts here.
Louis as a child with his Grandfather, who inspired his fundraising activities.