When Laura decided to take part in a marathon, she would never have thought that this would lead to her doing her first ever open water swim across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

A few years ago, Laura decided that as she ran or, in her words, “plodded or jogged” quite a bit, she would set herself a goal to run a marathon. However, during her training she developed bad knee pain which was diagnosed as runner’s knee and put an end to her long distance running plans.

As a child Laura had swum a lot, although not so much in recent years, so when Laura’s friend Katy (Aspire’s Events Manager) encouraged her to sign up for an Aspire open water swim, she knew that it would be a huge challenge, but also hopefully a way back into doing sport on a permanent basis. And so in December 2017, Laura decided that taking on an Aspire swim would be her New Year’s Resolution. That also gave her plenty of time to train, as she would be starting from scratch.

Laura ready to swim the Solent

Laura then had to decide which Aspire swim she would take on. Having looked at all the options she decided to take on the Solent, swimming from Gosport to the Isle of Wight. She chose the Solent because it seemed like a realistic challenge, she could wear a wetsuit and would be able to say, “I swam to the Isle of Wight.”
Laura hasn’t trained as much as she wanted to, due to a mild shoulder injury earlier in the year. She says, “I was training too hard and too fast, but I am confident I have the fitness to do it, so am not too worried. I am determined make it!”

Laura has also found that there is a great community of Aspire Swimmers. “Attending the training weekend at Dover was great, especially meeting not only other people swimming the Solent but the teams swimming the Channel as well. I am now really looking forward to swimming across the Solent and I think the adrenaline will get me through.”

When asked what it would mean to Laura to swim the Solent she said, “I think it will be an amazing challenge, everyone I tell is very impressed! I am not quite sure I will truly appreciate exactly what I have taken on until I am standing on the beach ready to go. I also know that having done all this training, I won’t stop swimming, as I have come to love it. My sense of achievement will be even greater knowing that I have raised money for Aspire at the same.”

Laura has exceeded her target, so far raising almost £1,000 to help people with spinal cord injuries.
Find out more or donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-stinson1