Leigh is taking on the Challenge to support people with Spinal Cord Injury

Leigh is looking forward to raising money for Aspire because she works as a critical care nurse looking after patients at the start of their Spinal Cord Injury journey

I enjoy fundraising and in July I took part in a 5k run for charity.  I found this so hard to train for and was so pleased that I was able to run/jog the whole 5k.  But swimming is my thing, it has been on and off all through my life. 

I love the freedom of the water and the feeling of the ‘red hot’ face at the end of a good swim!

When my twins started school a few years ago, it meant all of my three kids were at school, so I decided to start getting fit. This involved swimming and I signed up to an app where the goal was to swim the distance of the channel. I almost completed it, but life got in the way and I didn’t manage to. So, when I saw the Aspire Channel Swim advertised on Facebook, I knew I had to sign up!

It really will be a personal challenge, I haven’t done much exercise since the run, and I’ve also plonked a lot of weight on!   I have had a couple of practice swims recently just to check that I still float.  My local pool at Graves Health and Sports Centre in Sheffield uses SWIMTAG, which tracks your swim and logs how many lengths you have done.  This is perfect as I often forget if I count myself as I get in the zone and don’t want to come out!

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When I was younger (some 20 something years ago) I could do all the strokes and went to a swimming club.  Now I splash away at breaststroke, but I really would like to have a bash at mastering freestyle again.  As I watch my 9 year old son, I’m in awe at how he manages it, and I remember that I could do that once too!

Aside from the personal challenges of the swim, I cannot wait to raise money for Aspire

I work as a nurse in critical care, and lots of the patients I look after are at the start of their Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) journey, involving many uncertainties. During the very early days of an injury it’s too soon to tell what mobility and function patients will have. We often deal with the acute event of an SCI, and eventually most patients are transferred to the Sheffield Spinal Injury Centre. This means we rarely see how patients get on after their rehabilitation. This is why Aspire is important to me. To know that there is help and support for people with an SCI after they leave hospital enhances my knowledge and understanding of what is available for them, and they are a charity that I will definitely advocate when nursing SCI patients in the future.

I can’t wait to get in the pool and smash this!!!

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