Since I was a teenager I have always wanted to swim the Channel (I have always been a little mad) so this is my stepping stone to still fulfilling that dream and being able to help a very worthy charity as well.
I always loved swimming as a kid and luckily I had a fantastic teacher/coach, (as well as great weather) who is the reason that I still love swimming as much as I do and is the main reason that I am a reasonably good swimmer (thank you Ms Haid nee Marsh for being my inspiration to always love swimming as well as giving me a great stroke :)). As I got older and went to one of my boarding schools there was a girl there who at the time was the youngest person to cross the channel and since then I have always wanted to do it.
My journey to an English Channel Relay swim started when I was trying to figure out what my challenge for 2013 would be – every year I have tried to give myself a new challenge (these have included climbing Kilimanjaro and swimming 14km) and as the weeks went on and I was still pondering when I saw an ad in a e-newsletter that Aspire – a spinal cord injuries charity was looking for participants for a team for their charity to swim across the channel as a relay…. so I sent an email and next minute I am talking to Andrew from Aspire about the possibilities of being part of the team.
Andrew explained to me about what the charity did and where the money would go and how being part of the team involved not just swimming but also the fundraising part as well. It sounded like a grea opportunity and Andrew invited me to the HQ for an assessment day where we would have a swim assessment and an interview about our fundraising plans. Great a step closer. I sent a few emails around some of my swimming friends to see if anyone else was interested and off Paul, Montse and I went to the assesment day on 17th November.
The assessment day came and we learnt a lot about swimming the channel from those that have completed and those that had failed, we also heard from people with spinal cord injuries that have benefited from the work of Aspire which was very inspiring and made me want to do this even more. Lasty we had our swim assessment and interview… fingers crossed the three of us had done enough. We had to wait 3 days to find out whether we were in or out and when Andrew finally called on Wednesday 21st November to tell me I had made it into Team Flamingo’s my challenge for 2013 had been set.