Just because I have decided to reschedule (indefinitely) my Ironman challenge, doesn’t mean that I have given up on swimming.
I still intend on competing in Sprint and Olympic Triathlons and I am still going to swim 2.4 miles (the same length as the swim leg of an Ironman) this Autumn.
Not as part of an Ironman though, but instead as part of the amazing Aspire Channel Swim 2017 Blogging Relay Team which is something that I am excited to be a part of.
The Aspire Channel Swim 2017 challenges you and anyone (of any age) you know to swim the length of the English Channel, but do not worry, nobody expects you to a) swim the English Channel (although many brave swimmers are) or b) swim the 22 mile distance in one go or even by yourself.
You can either swim the distance as an individual over a 12 week period starting 11th September and finishing on the 4th December or join a relay team, like I have (still to meet my virtual team), and swim only part of the 22 miles.
There are many inspirational individuals swimming the full 22 miles in days rather than weeks and while I could spread my distance over the 12 weeks, I am going to attempt to swim the entire 2.4 miles (160 lengths) in one visit to my local Nuffield pool. This will be my longest swim ever and I might need to build up a little, but I am really looking forward to getting back into the pool, instead of sitting here writing about it.
Whether you sign up as an individual or relay team, you can swim at your own pace and at your own pool (or outdoor location for my hardy open swimming pals) and you do not need to be an Olympic standard swimmer to participate in the Aspire Channel Swim 2017, although I probably do rival Michael Phelps in calories consumed.
I am not the greatest swimmer (understatement of the year), having only been taught how to swim this year by Robert of Vigour Events, but I love being in the water and as someone who has problems with my joints and who weighs considerably more than I should, the water supports my weight (much like it does for sea living mammals…cue beached whale comments from the fat shamers) and makes swimming a relatively easy activity that is so rewarding, both mentally and physically.
The Aspire Channel Swim 2017 is a free to enter challenge and you are urged to fundraise for this vital charity that supports over 40,000 people recovering from spinal injuries. However by signing up at and participating in and promoting the event, you will be helping those paralysed by spinal cord injuries. Sadly, someone is paralysed every 8 hours from a spinal injury and Aspire provides practical support that enable these people to lead active and independent lives
With no statutory Government funding Aspire depends solely on donations and proceeds from the Aspire Channel Swim 2017, so please sign up HERE and please consider even the smallest of donations. The target this year is £800,000 and every penny and every lap counts.
So, come September 11th, why not get off the couch and head down to your local pool? Dive in and let us see what you can achieve by sharing your experiences on Twitter and Instagram using #ACS2017