I have taken on a much bigger challenge this year and I'm swimming the English Channel as part of a 3 person relay with two great swimmers and friends at the Club, Mandy and Pip. Our window was between 30 June and 8 July but it was called off due to bad weather. We are now waiting for a slot to be available to get our chance to swim to France. I have taken the opportunity to launch a social media campaign to raise awareness of endometriosis simply entitled #waitingforthecall where I am in every day situations in my channel team gear.
I am totally excited and absolutely terrified but determined to enjoy the journey and the challenge.
As part of my training for the Channel, I took part in the four South London Swimming Club (SLSC) aquathlons in June. I swum the Thames 14km marathon in August which was utterly exhausting and brilliant, and returned to the Isles of Scilly in early September.
I took part in the Scilly Swim Challenge (15km swim, 10km walk) which was superbly tough. All of this, I might add, in rather cold water without a wetsuit. Throw in the Seahorse Swim (3.8km) and the Brownsea Island swim (~6km I think??) and I've had a busy few months.
Life is not quite what I had imagined turning 40 in January 2017 and seemingly now being the crazy cat swimming running baking lady. I did not think I would be THAT person doing all those crazy things. In the last year alone, so many things have changed for the better. I am a stone lighter than May 2016 when I started the Mile A Day in May, and over 1.5 stone since end January 2017. I have another couple of stone to go and I will be back at a healthy, manageable weight. Thanks to all my efforts towards weight loss and training, my endometriosis is more manageable and although the 10 years of lack of diagnosis has done irreversible damage, I hope that I will be able to control the pain more and more as this year progresses, my weight diminishes and my fitness increases.
I started running again and finished the Couch to 5km programme earlier this year which was a huge help when I did my first aquathlon of the season! Thanks to all the training, my swimming is faster and stronger. But swimming the Channel, the 14km Thames Marathon or the Isle of Scillies will still be three very big challenges for me. And so I have chosen to fundraise for these three events.
Yet again, I have chosen to support three charities this year, Endometriosis UK and The Passage, which I have been supporting for over 12 years as well as Frank Water Projects which is a more recent charity of mine.
Why Endometriosis UK?
I am swimming the English Channel for Endometriosis UK as it took ten years to diagnose me with endometriosis stage 4. Life pre-diagnosis was pretty horrendous and while post-diagnosis is infinitely better, it still has its challenges, including daily pain. An earlier diagnosis would have changed the outcome significantly, for me and thousands of women worldwide.
I am raising money so that others are diagnosed earlier, treatments offered sooner and quality of life restored.
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