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“Learning to swim is one of the best things that I’ve ever done"

After many years of wishing that she could swim or even feel comfortable around the water, Louise learnt to swim in September 2016 whilst on holiday with her partner.

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Louise learning to swim whilst on holiday

“Despite years of telling myself that I would never be able to swim because it’s easier to learn when you’re a child, or being too embarrassed to have lessons as an adult, I got bored of missing out on what looked like really good fun! Fortunately, it was actually quite a relaxing experience because of the setting and the fact that my partner is a very good swimmer who has a lot of patience!”

Since learning to swim Louise has been swimming in her local pool two or three times a week and often speaks to those who have been taking lessons. Louise commented: “We all agree that once you get over the initial worry of getting into the pool for the first time it becomes a lot more enjoyable and you notice massive steps of progress every week.”

Louise was influenced to sign up to our Swim 22 Challenge on behalf of her mum who has Type 2 diabetes.

“Over the past 10 years I've watched my mum struggle to try and live a normal daily life whilst constantly monitoring her sugar levels, what she's eating and how much exercise she's done. Some days she's able to do everything along with the rest of us but other days even a 10 minute walk to the shops will leave her exhausted.”

“By taking part in this challenge and by wearing my Swim22 swim cap at the pool, I hope that I can get people talking about diabetes and make people more aware of what it is, how it can affect people and how to lessen the risks of developing Type 2.”

I actually really look forward to swimming now, my fitness and mood have improved a lot and I now sleep a lot better than I used to.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of training to get myself ready for the challenge and although I’m still a little bit nervous about swimming 22 miles (it’s a long way!) I’m just going to continue to enjoy my time in the water and use the online tracker to log my sessions and watch my total distance increase!”

“If anyone reading this is thinking about signing up but feels worried that they're not a very good swimmer, I would definitely say to go for it! As soon as you start swimming, you'll find that you feel better every time you go and the worry will quickly disappear. For adults who can't swim or think that they might need a refresher lesson, I would recommend contacting your local pool. The swimming lessons that are run by the Leisure Centre near us are great, the instructors are really friendly and supportive and they won’t rush anybody into anything they’re not ready for.”

You can sign up until end of June

If Louise has inspired you to take on this challenge and dive into 2017,sign upfor Swim22 today.

You can sign up toSwim22 now, registration will be open until the end of June so you’ll still be able to take part if you sign up before then.

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