I started open water swimming just over three and a half years ago and it has changed my life. My obsession with swimming came about after I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right knee at the age of 34. Throughout my twenties I spent most winters skiing where picked up several bad knee injuries which needed surgery. After I stopped doing ski seasons, I took up long distance walking. This added further strain to my knee. I started to struggle to walk and ended up using a walking stick and only managing to walk short distances before the pain became too much. A friend of mine suggested that I should take up swimming. I was reluctant at first having never given it any thought before, but as my mobility reduced still further, I realised that I needed some form of exercise to stay fit. So, I literally took the plunge.
For 2019 I have decided to set a new challenge for myself. The planning and training are underway to try and become the first woman to swim the length of the River Severn and the first person ever to do it is skins. The source of the Severn is in Mid Wales high on the hill of Plynlimon above the Havren Forest. It then flows through Wales, though my home county of Shropshire before heading towards Worcester and Gloucester and finishing at the Bristol Channel. The total length of the river is 220 miles or 354Km. It is the longest river in the UK.