With retirement looming and encouragement from her partner, Liz decided that 2019 would be the year to challenge herself and accomplish her dream of swimming the Channel.  Liz works as a Team Leader for a community mental health team in Dorset and is also proud to be a Queens Nurse, specialising in dementia care.  She has two children who are used to their mum doing ‘crazy things’ and she can’t wait to phone her daughter, who is currently traveling in Australia, to tell her she has completed the swim with her team, the Aspire Lions.

Liz says, “My training is going well as I love swimming and over the last few years I have been exploring new places to jump into water, whether streams, lakes or rivers.  I am a regular pool swimmer and in 2015 I took part in the Aspire Channel Swim, swimming 22 miles (the distance of the Channel) in the pool. 

“Fortunately, in moving to open water swimming, I have found that I don’t mind cold water and feel like I have acclimatised well.  As part of my training I have been having cold showers and baths and I swam in the sea for the first time on New Year’s Day.  I have also swum the Serpentine and taken part in swims in Bournemouth and Exmouth.  The Aspire training weekends in Dover were tough, but I love my Lions teammates who are an inspiration to me.

Aspire Lions in Dover before their swim

“My biggest fear is of failing and letting my team down. They all seem fitter and faster than me and I’ve started having feelings of panic just thinking about it. I am well out of my comfort zone and really pushing myself to do this. However, I won’t give in. I have too many people counting on me, supporting me and loving me. I am determined to do it.”

I wanted to swim for Aspire because, as a nurse, I have seen the support and care that many people need following a life-changing injury.  The work Aspire does is inspirational and I am glad to be able to help spinal cord injured people to live independently.

"I was initially worried that I would struggle with fundraising but everyone has been so generous. Most people are shocked and think I’m ‘crazy’ but, for me, it’s about the fun we are having as a team and being able to say that I swam the Channel."

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