Lee-Anne has swum 44 miles and raised £748
I knew about Aspire as I have googled them in the past to find out about their Relay Channel Swims. I go sea swimming in Dover harbour every day and have been very interested in the Channel swimmers that come and train on the beach. Some of them have spoken to me about Aspire so I followed Aspire on Facebook and saw an ad for the Aspire Channel Swim. I thought it would be a brilliant way to be able to do the challenge in my own time and raise money for the charity. I have also swum in pools all my life so it's great to get back to the pool and improve my fitness a bit more. I swim the 22 miles as a combination of pool and sea swims.
I started swimming in the sea earlier in the year than usual due to the pools being closed. When I started in April the sea temperature was 9°. I love being in the sea and this year I have achieved my personal goal of swimming around the harbour swim buoys. Most weeks in the summer I swim on average around 10 miles a week during my two swims a day.
The sense of freedom and achievement I feel is wonderful. I just love being at one with nature and the cold water helps to keep my aches and pains away.
I had some challenges with my shoulders and the swimming helped to strengthen my muscles and helped my shoulder improve, along with daily physio exercises and watching clips on how to improve my swim stroke. I really believe that cold water therapy helps keep ailments at bay and leads to a much healthier and fitter lifestyle.
Since my local pool in Whitfield Dover reopened after the first lockdown, it has been better than before with double width lane swimming, fewer people in the lane and with only 45 minutes per session it spurs me on to try and swim faster.
I don't know of anyone with spinal cord injuries but it's an important charity. I know how your life can suddenly change through illness from personal experience, so I am happy to help.
I found fundraising a bit daunting but chose my limit hoping to achieve it. Initially I didn’t get a lot of response from posting on my Facebook account but after a while I messaged my friends and family individually asking them if they could donate and this worked better and raised my funds considerably. I'm new to Facebook so it's all been a learning curve.