During the televised coverage of the Everton V Chelsea game this weekend the cameras turned to the crowd and picked out a man wearing just a swimming cap and swimming trunks. This is Michael Cullen aka Speedo Mick. I first heard of Speedo Mick when he was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 and he is a man with a mission. His aim is to raise £30,000 for the Woodlands Hospice Charitable Trust, so far in his quest he has swam the English Channel in just under 16 hours. That swim was back in September 2014 but at the start of the present football season changed his money raising tactics. Mick pledged to attend every Everton fixture, home and away, dressed for swimming. We are now coming into spring so there is no doubt that having done this through the winter the weather is unlikely to end his quest now. How has he done it? It’s simply the power of the mind, not only has he got the determination to push himself through the training for and to swim the channel, pushing himself on through the cold, multiple jelly fish stings and injuring both shoulders, but he has stood wearing almost nothing through the British winter weather. The mind can not only convince you that you are warmer or colder than you actually are but can actually make your body react as if that was the case. I read of one instance when a man suffered severe burns to his arm and shoulder, a hypnotherapist was told he’d burnt his arm and hypnotised him into believing his arm was cold. As the hypnotherapist was unaware of the burnt shoulder the shoulder was unaffected. The result was that doctors noted his arm was a little redder than one would expect for a normal arm but otherwise normal but his shoulder was severely burnt. If my memory serves me right that account is documented in Hypnotherapy: A Practical Handbook by Hellmut W. A. Karle and Jennifer H. Boys and serves to show how the mind can physically affect the body. Sensations such as pain are not created by the nerve endings that detect them but by the brain. So if there’s no need to feel it, you can block it. Not knowing Speedo Mick I can’t say whether he is or not using any technique based on hypnosis but will say even if he isn’t, and he’s probably not, he will not feel the cold as much as he once did.
One thing I will say for certain is the Woodlands Hospice Charitable Trust is a worthwhile cause and with Mick’s determination and dedication to his cause he deserves to hit his target. At the time of writing Mick has had 591 donations raising £23,398.34 which is 77% of his target, but he is running out of football season. Why not help him get there. You can donate at his just giving page, click here, and leave him a message of support or just your name or be completely anonymously. Cancer doesn’t care where you live, what team you support or what social class you are. So why not help Speedo Mick reach his target so the Woodlands Hospice Charitable Trust can continue their good work, they need people like Michael Cullen for funding.