Monday, 5 March 2018
The English Channel
You will probably re-read this post, as no doubt you will think it’s written either by an entirely different person from the last one or I have a split personality!
Armed with the knowledge that physical activity may help to me keep the cancer at bay, as well as being the sort of person who needs to something to work towards to stay motivated. I was presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.
In the Autumn of 2016, 20 years after my amputation, I swam the equivalent of The English Channel in the pool to raise money for Aspire, the Spinal Injury Charity. I undertook this challenge to help get fit again after an ankle ligament reconstruction and the 5 months in a cast that followed. I was filmed by Calendar TV and one of the staff at Aspire saw the footage and approached me to be part of a Relay Team for Summer 2018. There would be an assessment day in November 2017. Great I thought then 2 weeks later our world caved in and I was diagnosed with stage III aggressive breast cancer.
As you know I then went to hell and back during the cancer treatment and couldn’t even get into a pool, mainly due to the various central lines I had poking out of my body during that time. So when Autumn 2017 came around I hadn’t even finished my radiotherapy and I was invited along to the Assessment day. I explained what had happened in the intervening period but was still encouraged to attend. They told me I didn’t have to do the timed swim but not only did I end up going but I did the swim (but didn’t want to know the time as I was, for good reason, totally unfit!).
I was so pleased a couple of weeks later when I was invited to join a team. Five complete strangers at the time, who, hopefully between us, will complete the 22 miles from Dover to Calais in August 2018. We have now met, and swum (in exceedingly cold water!) and been named ‘The Hammerhead Sharks’.
Many (should read, most) of you will think I’m crazy and yes maybe I am. Not only do I have problems with both legs but I’m going to be less than a year from finishing breast cancer treatment. But I’ll never know what I can achieve unless I try. I am of course going to badger you all for sponsorship! On which note please follow this link to learn more and do exactly that 😊
It really is for a brilliant cause, to help those with spinal injuries get back to work, independent living or sport. Their strap line really caught my attention ‘From injury to independence’. I could really relate to it as I’ve had to battle my way back from a similar place on more than one occasion. Also the importance psychologically of doing so for the disabled person.
So training is well underway and roll on summer, at least the water will be a bit warmer!! I will continue to blog through the challenge so keep your eyes peeled. In fact read all about it in my dedicated blog www.mychannelchallenge.blogspot.com