Aug 19, 2016
Kay Rolandi, 54, from Chichester, started swimming to lower her high blood pressure.
At her local pool she soon found out about the Aspire Channel Swim, and thought that if she was going to swim regularly she would do it with purpose! She went from pretty much no exercise, to swimming 22 miles in 12 weeks and has so far raised £12,526 for Aspire.
As well as swimming in the pool, Kay has completed a swim from mainland UK to the Isle of Wight, the Solent Swim– crossing the busiest waterway in Europe from Gosport to the Isle of Wight, and has been part of a relay team which crossed the actual English Channel.
It all hasn’t been plain sailing however, as Kay has had problems with her own back, experiencing severe pain which caused sciatica in both of her legs.
She underwent a major lumber decompression spinal operation in November 2014 to relieve the pain. “It made me realise how difficult it is for people with a spinal cord injury,” says Kay. “It really immobilises you. Now though, I’m lucky that exercise helps to keep my spine healthy.”
Keen to get back to health, Kay returned to the pool as soon as she could and less than a year later completed her second Channel crossing in her local pool, raising over £1,000 for the Aspire Channel Swim.
This year she’s doubling her previous efforts and swimming the two way Solent Swim, and has been a boat leader for Aspire relay teams taking her third team out in July 2016.
“After my first swim was finished I kept on going – even an operation didn’t stop me! Swimming has been such an amazing way to gain health and my recovery post-operation. It’s so important to be mindful about helping yourself, and swimming is a great and proactive way to help keep fit and healthy.”