Katy's chilling 100km swim for St Oswald's Hospice

Meet Katy, Purchasing Manager at St Oswald’s Hospice, who has decided to complete our 100km in July challenge through open water swimming.

“I wanted to do some fundraising for St Oswald’s. I needed a challenge as I haven’t done one in such a long time. It’s also a great excuse to get a new swimming costume!

“Open water swimming is my thing, I do it every day. Swimming in the river each morning provides a daily personal challenge and despite the ups and downs of the pandemic the river was always there and I could always swim. It is a place where I can debrief, doing a heads up chatty swim or somewhere I could put my head down, shut myself off from the world and count my strokes focusing on my breathing. I think being in the middle of nature helps too, a deer swam across the river in front of us once!

“It’s not just the swimming but the friendship and bond I have built with my fellow 5:45am ladies (we call ourselves the Water Witches) we have all had differing challenges throughout the pandemic, but we have supported each other throughout, including the sudden death of our swimming friend Peter.

“I am expecting this challenge to be tough, it’s a lot of time in the water as it averages as 3.5km a day which is around 1½ hrs. I am planning on mixing it up with smaller swims and longer swims to so I can get the balance right. I am excited though as mentally swimming in the cold water lets your mind have a rest (you only think about how cold you are and staying afloat). It has allowed me to listen to my body and know when enough is enough. I am comfortable in my own skin and much less body conscious now (mostly because I am frantically trying to get something warm on).

“I would love to see 100 people from the Hospice give open water swimming a try! I think it would shock a lot of people with all the other benefits you reap from it. But for this challenge, I am excited to push myself beyond my comfort zone to see what I can achieve.”

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