Samantha is taking on the Swim despite having Chronic Migraine

I signed up to the Aspire Channel Swim in 2017 to try to reignite my passion for exercise. Unfortunately, a few days prior to the beginning I was called away for work which involved strenuous activity and I could not commit to swimming at that time. I decided to take on the challenge this year because I wanted to give myself some accountability and knowing that I was doing it for charity gave me that.

I’m not a strong swimmer; my experience is limited to swimming in the sea with a cocktail! I joke… I adore paddleboarding and am a serious water baby. Wherever there is the opportunity to get into the water, I’ll be in it! Doing this not only allows me to be in the water but is increasing my fitness abilities.. what’s not to love?

Samantha 1

My main reason for swimming is because it’s a low impact sport. I struggle to commit to higher intensity work outs and end up in a lot of pain and then convince myself to just give in and give up. When I’m swimming I can be relatively pain free and relax, which is exactly what I need with the job that I’m in.

I have been diagnosed with Chronic Migraine which I have suffered from since the age of 3. This hidden disability has huge stigma attached to it and can be completely debilitating. I am someone who refuses to let it control my life so I still try my upmost to push through and function through severe pain.

My biggest challenge is convincing myself that I’ll be better off in the pool than in bed feeling sorry for myself. Water calms my soul, as clichéd as it sounds. It’s also cooling for my head. Swimming allows me to focus on one thing: swimming. My stress levels decrease and the cool water eases some of the pain for a short while; no other form of exercise offers me that luxury.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have days where lying in bed feeling sorry for myself is the option I choose, but I have found the accountability a huge drive and one which I intend to commit to.

I am currently swimming at Roko, Gillingham. I’m lucky to have some fantastic friends who often come along to swim and support. Top tip: putting the world to rights sure makes those lengths feel shorter!

Samantha 2

I have no real background in fundraising and I do find it hard to ask people for donations. Times are tough and I appreciate not everybody can help and I don’t like the idea of my friends and family feeling pressured. I mainly use social media to provide updates and achievements. I appreciate any amount given and it will go to a fantastic cause.

I don’t know of anyone personally who has a spinal cord injury. I like the idea of choosing a charity outside of my knowledge so that I can educate myself on something new and hopefully impart that knowledge to someone else going forward. Knowledge is power!

Sponsor Samantha

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