Will Henniker – The human shark
As soon as anyone visits Will’s Instagram page they immediately see that he’s a human shark – almost all of his pictures show a swimming pool and his bio says, “Living life in speedos”. Will shares with us what swimming means to him and why he chooses to do the Aspire Channel Swim above other challenges.
A Facebook ad made Will sign up for the Aspire Channel Swim, it appeared in his newsfeed one day as one of his friends had recently signed up for the challenge – what he didn’t know then was that he now has two things to thank his friend for.
Will had been looking out for a charity swim challenge for some time without finding any that seemed worthwhile for him.
“After working as a lifeguard for around six years at a recreation centre in Canterbury I understood how serious a Spinal Cord Injury was, and what impact it has on someone’s life. That’s also when I realised that the services Aspire provide are so important”.
Swimming has always been a major component in Wills life and it’s an interest he shares with his family:
“My grandad taught me how to swim and swimming has always been a massive part of my life, I used to compete in swimming and water polo at uni, now I teach swimming and play water polo with a senior team. I love how swimming challenges my cardio and strength but also requires a mental focus to maintain technique”.
Will completed the Aspire Channel Swim in only five and a half weeks! He explains to us;
“For me the hardest part of the swim was after I covered day one - I did 400 lengths at once, a distance I was more than happy with, my shoulders however were not. To avoid worsening a minor shoulder injury I’d acquired during day one I had to take a long time off training before I could begin swimming the distance required to finish the challenge! The hardest part was not being able to compete for that time, it made me feel really down!”
For those people who would like to take on the challenge, and ideally not to go through the same shoulder pain Will advises:
“To avoid injury like me alternate between front crawl/breaststroke and backstroke to utilise different muscle groups and most importantly, stretch before and after for warm up and recovery. Stretching is key!”
He also tells us that after the challenge he has greater appreciation for distance swimmers and the importance of properly warming up and down – two things he didn’t appreciate as much before the Aspire Channel Swim, something to thank his friend for!
Will has raised £140 so far for the Aspire Channel Swim – keep up the good work Will!