In 2014 and again in 2017 I had to have emergency L4-L5 discectomy surgery. Following surgery, I had lost 80% of sensation and movement from my knees downward in both legs.  It took nine months to learn to walk again from scratch each time. Swimming has played a massive part in my recovery.

Lindsey in hospital


This year, as I was looking on Instagram for inspiration, motivation and to find out how other people coped physically and mentally following similar life-changing surgery, I came across Aspire. One of their more recent posts mentioned the Aspire Channel Swim and I couldn’t refuse! 

Both the challenge and cause strongly resonated with me - having had two spinal surgeries and narrowly avoided a third last year, I know first hand how tricky the journey of recovery is. 

I have always been a keen swimmer; it’s the one place I feel pain-free due to the support and buoyancy from the water. The silence and peacefulness of being under the water is incredibly invigorating and calming at the same time. I enjoy free diving when the opportunity arises as it gives a real sense of freedom. Improving my stroke and strengthening my body post-surgery has been fantastic. 

Lindsey on a dive underwater


Whilst going through the journey of pre and post spinal surgery, getting in water and finding that support with no impact has been life-changing for me. I was lucky enough to have access to a single depth pool following both surgeries in which I could walk laps two or three times a day which strengthened my legs and core as, after laying flat on my back for months, the muscles were wasting away. It also helped with my proprioception as, due to nerve damage, I lost most feeling in both my lower legs and feet resulting in very little strength in both ankles. I’m pleased to say I can now wear heels for the first time since first my surgery nine years ago!

Swimming is a great all-round exercise for weight loss, cardio, muscle building, and overall wellbeing. I’m taking part in the Aspire Channel Swim for body strengthening, the confidence of achieving the challenge and knowing that the money I raise will be going to a great cause to help people with spinal injuries in their own journey. No one can prepare you for the immediate challenges and the time it takes to accept and start living your new lifestyle. 

I have always wanted to swim the Channel but physically it is something I’m not sure my body could manage, so to swim the distance over 12 weeks ticked all the boxes for me. The more I swim and exercise, I find the less and less pain I’m in. Thanks to everyday yoga, regular Pilates and swimming, I am now able to swim, walk, hike and bike fairly freely.

Lindsey on top of a hill with her stick


22 miles is a massive challenge for me.  Even though I swim fairly regularly, it is still a pretty long distance, although once I have swum the 22 miles to Calais I am considering challenging myself to swim another 22 miles back to Dover in the 12 weeks. If this means I’m able to raise more money, I will set myself the challenge!  I currently swim on a regular basis, two or three times a week, up to 1km each time. This challenge has pushed me to complete up to 2.5km in a single swim. I have swum for other charities in the past but swimming the Channel is a new and exciting challenge! 


I’m delighted to have raised £950 so far.  I started by sending my JustGiving link to family and friends on WhatsApp and email and then posted it on Facebook and Instagram.  I’m not really active on either platform but it seems to have done the trick!

Lindsey on top of a hill


I did ask a few friends to see if they would like to either team up to swim the challenge together or enter individually to complete in their own time, but due to work and family commitments no one could. However, I have inspired a few to get back in their local pools and they’re swimming further and more often than they would normally do. If what I am doing is inspiring people to get more active, I’m happy! 

Raising awareness has been key and if I can raise money to help others who have been in a similar situation, that will be great.  The positive effects swimming has on your body and wellbeing is outstanding. I never regret a swim! 

Sponsor Lindsey

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