As some of you reading this will know on 26 July 2012 I was admitted to hospital for my first major back surgery. For two years I was pain free and got back to being the independent and active person I have always been. But it was short lived and I was so disappointed when the pain started to return in 2014 and on 25 September 2015 I was back in hospital having a second major back surgery. The outcome from the second surgery has not been good, it has been life changing. I no longer work or do my hobby with my lovely dogs. I struggle on a daily basis with pain and muscle spasms, heavy aching, fatigue and tiredness along with all over muscle and body pain and the ability to do many every day things because my spinal nerves are damaged from when they were severely squashed before both surgeries. More info about this in my blog link below.
I had been doing my rehabilitation walking and backstroke in the pool for 16 months when in early March 2017 I noticed a new poster advertising the Aspire Channel Swim at Woodlands Leisure pool - swimming the length of the English Channel but in your swimming pool. Wow I thought, I would really like to do that! As I read on I saw it was to raise money for people with spinal cord injuries and at that moment I made my mind up to do it. If I could help others who had not been as fortunate as me, that would give me the purpose I was looking for at this time in my rehabilitation.
I was just at the stage where I had been allowed to swim front crawl (as long as I did it properly and kept my back straight) so I needed to learn how to do it properly for obvious reasons. I had my first swimming lesson with Emily on 3 March 2017 to learn how to do front crawl. At that time I could only swim a couple of strokes before I choked for breathe. I had never managed to get my 25 metre swimming certificate at school I was just useless at it, so it was going to be a huge challenge to complete the 22 miles in the allotted time of 12 weeks!
But hey.....after the challenge of the past 18 months what the heck. I have overcome some huge mountains recently, for example in March last year I could only walk for 30 seconds per day before the pain was so bad I had to lay down again and I have now learnt to walk for short periods of time and manage the pain it causes. So the Aspire swim is just going to be a much larger goal to achieve!
So I've been going to the pool two or three times a week, determined to overcome my fear of deep water and swimming away from the edge of the pool and it has happened, I've done it and I can now tread water. The breathing and stroke is also coming on well and my swimming teacher seems to be pleased. We are now working on my fitness in the water so I can build up the lengths and I am loving it.
With the help and support everyday from my partner John, my physio, swimming teacher, my Mum and some outstanding friends I will do my utmost to raise as much money as I can and make this goal the biggest I have achieved to date!
I'm taking on the Aspire Channel Swim 2017, swimming the distance of the Channel over 12 weeks to raise money for Aspire. Every eight hours someone is paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury and Aspire provides the essential equipment, advice, housing and grants that spinal cord injured people need to live their lives independently. This is a big challenge, but the more I raise, the more of a difference I'll make, so please be generous!
If you feel you can sponsor me, donate or support me in whatever way you can I would be so grateful. Little donations grow into bigger ones when they have others to be with 😁. 22 miles is a long way. I will need to do at least 2.2 miles per week. I have calculated this over 10 weeks just in case I have a mega flare up or feel poorly then I'll have a little wriggle time.
You can donate any amount from £1 upwards by clicking on the Donate button above and don't forget to add Gift Aid if you are a tax payer.
You can also donate by Text if you prefer by texting SUZT55 and either £1, £2, £3, £4 ,£5 or £10 to 70070
Please share this page if you know of anyone who would like to donate.
Thank you soooooooo much for your support in reading this and your donations, I look forward to making you all so very proud of me ❤️.
If anyone is interested in reading my full story, please click on the link below to my blog page:
Thankyou very much for reading, Suzanne xxx