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Around July/August time (exact date dependant on weather/tides) I am going to be taking on a challenge that absolutely terrifies me. I'm am going to be joining a relay team, with 5 others, and swimming the 21 miles to France. This isn't just any 21 miles, this is 21 miles in cold, deep, tidal, open water with jellyfish, dolphins, sea weed and other things I would care not to think of! To make things that bit harder, channel swimming rules dictate that you can't wear a wetsuit, gloves, booties or any neoprene of any description. Only 1 standard swim suit, 1 standard swim hat and 1 pair of goggles is permitted.
Why am I doing this? Well, there are 2 reasons:
- I want to raise as much money as humanly possible for Aspire, an incredible charity helping people trying to rebuild their lives following spinal cord injury.
- To challenge myself and push myself further outside my comfort zone than I ever have.
Every eight hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury.
I work in a specialist ICU in a busy, trauma hospital and as part of my role I look after people in the very acute phase following spinal cord injury. I know all too well how devastating an injury is and how this acute phase that I am involved in is only the tip of the iceberg for those affected.
Aspire is a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury; it can happen to anyone at any time and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure.
Although I am a keen swimmer, all of my swimming prior to 2016 was in the comfort of a lovely, heated pool. The sea and open water has always terrified me and when it comes to the cold, I am a wimp. This year however, I decided to challenge myself and ventured into the sea (in a wetsuit I must add). It is totally different to pool swimming and it has taken a lot for me to learn to put mind over matter and control the panic that inevitably comes over me during a swim.
Along the way I have met some incredible people taking on some incredible challenges. It was these people that encouraged me to persevere and, in September, part with the neoprene and really challenge myself! It is now December and I'm pleased to say I'm still persevering, still without a wetsuit and yes, it is every bit as cold as you think! However, for me to succeed at this challenge, I am going to need to put in some serious work and swim through the winter....it's only going to get colder!
Please show your support by sponsoring me and helping me to raise loads of money for this incredible charity. Thank you x
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