You may be asking why on earth would I want to swim 250 miles in twelve months?!
Well, the inspiration came from Justin Osmond, son of Merrill, of the famous Osmond family. In May 2015 Justin took on a massive personal challenge to run 250 miles from Ephraim to St George, Utah in just 8 days. His purpose was to raise money for the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and to specifically help 25 deaf children who needed hearing aids. Justin trained many months in preparation for the challenge, running 100 miles a week. His wife Kristi shared a daily report on his progress on Facebook and it became compulsive reading. He is the founder and CEO of the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund in the USA and is President of The Hearing Fund UK. (Please see my page about The Hearing Fund UK’s aims and purposes.)
As I was making good progress to lose 8 stones with my Slimming World challenge, I began to realise I would need as big a challenge to maintain my weight loss once I got to Target. It was at the end of July 2015 that I had my light bulb moment. Instead of running 250 miles as Justin had done, I would swim that far instead! I would do it as a sponsored swim and raise money for The Hearing Fund UK. The Hearing Fund Annual Gala is held every August in Leeds and I was able to talk to Justin in person last year about how I had set this goal, and that I would complete it in time for the next Gala in August 2016. He was thrilled by this news and his response meant a lot to me as I admire him so much.
So, I had to specifically plan how I would achieve the distance in the allocated time and I literally dived in. It worked out that if I could swim five times a week, with a few extra miles here and there, I would accomplish the task in exactly a year. My aim is to complete the 250 miles by Tuesday 2nd August and as I approach the half way mark, I am right on schedule.
A map is being updated each weekend to show my progress here on my Blog and on my JustGiving page. I was excited to realise that 250 miles is the distance between my home in the outskirts of Doncaster to Edinburgh! Rather than it just be a number, suddenly seeing it on a map, the distance became a reality. As I write (2nd Feb), I am currently swimming through Durham (115 miles). My half way point is the Angel of the North where I will have arrived at in about two weeks’ time (Sat 13th Feb). On the same day that I will have completed my 125th mile, I will drive up north and have a photo taken in front of the Angel. I will post the picture on my Blog (**and no, to several of those who have already asked, I won’t be wearing my cossie haha) I am excited to go ‘home’ for this reason because as many of you know, I’m a born and bred Geordie, and was brought up in Chester-le-Street, which is a small market town between Durham and Newcastle.
** Update: If I can raise £500 by Friday night, I WILL be having my picture taken in my Speedo cossie… All I can say is ‘oh dear! lol Please donate on my JustGiving page.)
**Further update: I did raise over £500, and I did appear in my swimming costume! It was 2C and very very cold!! 🙂
I swim at Armthorpe Leisure Centre which is like a second home to me! Actually my time there goes way back before my challenge began. I was a swimming instructor for 22 years and whilst I taught at most of the pools in the Doncaster Borough, I spent most of that time teaching at Armthorpe. The staff are wonderful. I taught many of the current lifeguards to swim when they were young! They are ever so encouraging and show lots of interest in how many lengths I swim each day. I’ve made friends with a few of the regular swimmers too, although I try and keep my chatting to a minimum as I find I don’t complete my daily distance as easily if I stop for long!
As you will see on my JustGiving Page, I aim to raise £2,500 for The Hearing Fund UK. For those who feel they would like to support me, the link is found at:
Thank you so much for your support.