People associate me with lots of things: fashion, blogging, fashion, pornstar martinis, fashion, an endless stream of Twitter drivel, fashion, Mexican food, fashion, an unhealthy obsession with G.Nev, fashion....
But I don't think anybody would ever associate me with open water swimming.
I've had a rough few years of health, but after a year of consistent wellness I was discharged from hospital at the beginning of April this year. I'm 26 and this is the first time in my adult life that I haven't been under the watchful eye of a maxilliofacial department. It's an amazing feeling to be free.
Now that I'm privileged enough to be the owner of a healthy, functioning body, I want to put it to good use. And I want to raise money for a good cause.
So what did I do?
I put myself forward for three open water swimming challenges. Of course!
I've never swum in a lake. I've never worn a wetsuit. I've never trained for anything. Ever. I mean bloody hell, I've truly never been physically fit in my entire life.
But I've joined a pool. I've got a swimming coach. I have permanent goggle marks on my face. And no matter how hard it is I'm going to RUDDY WELL DO THIS.
Let it be known now that I'm not going to enjoy this ‘summer of swimming’. Physical activity does not come naturally to me. Illness was a convenient excuse for the last few years, but I wasn't exactly god's gift to PE when I was younger. The fat girl that drops the baton and ruins the relay for everyone? That's me. One sports day my official role was "ringing the bell". So yeah, sports challenges aren't 'my thing'.
My swims will gradually get harder and the first one is frighteningly soon. I haven’t really thought about this. Oh god.
These are when they are:
Eton Dorney - 27th May - 1.5k
Lake Windermere - 16th June - 1 mile.
River Thames - 21st July - 2.25 MILES
Open water swimming isn’t like swimming in a pool. Or at least that’s what people keep telling me, I’ve never done it so I have no idea except for the recurrent nightmare that I’m already having where I simultaneously get kicked in the face by a fellow swimmer whilst having an asthma attack whilst getting my foot caught in weeds and drowning. (SCARY SCARY SCARY).
It will be cold. It will be dirty. There’ll be currents. There’ll be waves. There’ll be twenty billion other swimmers front crawling all over me. Almost certainly an eel electrocuting me. I probably won’t even be there tbh as I won’t have been able to get my wetsuit on without help from my mum.
I've chosen to raise money for Barnardo's - the UK's largest children's charity.
As these events are by different organisers, I'm not taking a Barnardo’s place at each one, I've entered each race privately and I'm asking (begging!) for lovely sexy gorgeous people like you to sponsor me for the whole thing as one 'challenge'.
The work Barnardo’s does is exceptionally important. They speak up for and support the UK's most vulnerable children and young people.
Child poverty in the UK is something that people often fail to appreciate exists. It's remarkable to think that there is so much injustice and inequality in this great, developed nation. But Banardo’s believe in all children – and if it wasn’t for them many young people wouldn’t stand a chance.
Barnardo's run over 800 vital services across the UK and they help to transform the lives of more than 190,000 children, young people and their families every single year. It’s terrible that they have to, but vital that they do.
My mother has worked in child protection for as long as I can remember and my boyfriend's mother has volunteered at Barnardo's for over 30 years, so I know exactly how important their services are. Thousands of young people rely on Barnardo's every day.
The work Barnardo's does is extensive, they work with people across many groups including children in care and on the child protection register.
These are just some of the issues that children being helped by Barnardo's in the past year have faced: child sexual exploitation, child poverty, caring for an ill member of the family, not being in education, employment or training, disability, struggling at school because of home circumstances, being in care, adoption or fostering.
And for every £1 raised by Barnardo’s, 95p is spent on charitable expenditure. (A stat that isn’t easily rivalled by many other charities).
So please help!
I didn't know how much to set as a target but my uncle thinks I should be aiming for £1000 per event, so £3000 in total. This number terrifies me. Thanks Tim!
But hey, I may as well try, right?
Thanks for reading, I don't know why I wrote so much.
Actually, I do know why I wrote so much, it's because I'm putting off going to the pool to train. There's a good start!
So yeah, sponsor me?