John is one of our top fundraisers
This is my first year taking on the Aspire Channel Swim. I saw an advert in my local pool a couple of years ago and signed up, but that's as far as I got, until this year. I contracted Covid in November last year, and it really knocked me for six. Long Covid has meant that even light exercise could leave me breathless. I've always enjoyed swimming and when my local pool reopened after a long lockdown, I returned to try and improve my fitness.
I started the challenge early as I wanted to give myself an extra challenge. I set myself the target of swimming the 22 miles within the month of July, which was no mean feat as I work shifts as a Police Officer. My local pool limited the number of users and restricted the times that it allowed lane swimming, only letting you swim for 45 minutes at a time. Added to that I have two school age daughters and it was the Scottish school summer holidays and so time management turned out to be my biggest challenge. Sometimes I would do a 45 minute session, leave the building and queue up again to get straight back in for the next 45 minute session, still dripping wet!
When I finished, with a few days to spare, I decided to look for another challenge as I felt that I had massively benefitted from the swimming, and so I have signed up to swim Coniston Water, which at 5.2 miles will be the single biggest distance I have ever swum in one go.