Not everything goes swimmingly....

Posted 30/6/2023 by Jane Taylor

Last year I decided to set myself a new challenge and train to do a mile of open water swimming as part of the Great North Swim in Windermere. I haven’t swum properly for a while and although a strong swimmer this was a whole different ball game. I started my training and joined a local gym and set to the task of getting strong enough to tackle the waves and the cold. I must admit I loved every minute of my training and even got to do a practice ‘run’ in the very cold waters of the North Sea on a May weekend away in Scotland.

               Unfortunately, on the actual day of the swim we had a bit of a family emergency and so I ended up in Lancaster hospital looking after my mum instead of being at the 2.30pm start time of the race. Although absolutely gutted that I hadn’t been able to take part it was more important at the time to be at the hospital, but I was just so worried I was letting everyone that had sponsored me down. Thankfully my sister stepped up and agreed to go with me the following morning instead and so we did just over a mile from Fell Foot, and it felt incredible. I basically grew up in Windermere so although the circumstances weren’t ideal there was something extra special about swimming in the lake with my sister having my dad and friends watching on and cheering us along.

               I can honestly say it wasn’t too arduous as we landed very lucky with the water temperature (18 degrees) and a lovely sunny day, but it still gave me a sense of achievement. I really want to thank all the people that sponsored me, and I raised a whopping £459 for the Society of Abandoned Animals in Sale which will help with so many rescue animals that need a new home.

So, what is next for me – well I am now already in training for two miles next year, again in Windermere and hopefully next time I will get the chance to take part in the actual event. Next year I will be swimming for the Acute Stroke Unit at Lancaster hospital as a thank-you to the amazing staff that looked after my mum when she needed it, so apologies now but I will be tapping everyone up for more sponsorship again in 2024 but luckily you all have a year to save up!


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