Sasha Leigh – SWS Sponsored Swimmer 2016

Jason’s asked me to write a little intro and update as to what I’m doing and why. So here goes.

It all started when I was diagnosed last year with multiple sclerosis. It was a shock, but it also explained some very weird and wonderful things that I had been experiencing over the previous 12-18 months. It’s an unpredictable and varied neurological condition that can progress slowly, rapidly, a mixture of both and everything in between! It makes the future incredibly uncertain. Uncertainty is scary, unpredictable, out of one’s control. However, my eventual conclusion was that the future is uncertain for everyone and I just needed to get on with things, live my life and make the most of it.

On what I thought would be a normal jog back on 23rd January this year my head was reeling with everything that was going on, and in true form, I came up with a plan. A plan for a challenge that would put two fingers up to MS, a plan to continue to do the things I love for as long as I can, but most importantly a plan to raise valuable funds for charity.

My plan was simple (in theory!): swim the Dart 10k from Totnes to Dittisham and then don my trail shoes to run back up-river to the start. When I contacted the organisers of the Dart event they were not aware of anyone having done that before. “Woohoo” I thought.

However, the path towards ‘woohoo’ has not been smooth.

Things started swimmingly (pun fully intended) – I rapidly got up to the 5k mark in the pool and was itching to get into the lake. I wanted to take advantage of the wetsuit buoyancy, swim in natural surroundings and banish the winter demons experienced during my first outing back in February when the water was 3.8 degrees. I lasted about 10 minutes. Nope, suffice it to say, I am not a Chilly Dipper!

However recently I’ve been beset by injury, most notably a dodgy neck/shoulder, meaning I’ve only just started to swim again after nearly 6 weeks off. To say I was going crazy (even more than usual) is an understatement. I could garner the sympathy vote by saying the problems have all been due to my MS….everything’s terrible, woe is me, etc…..but sadly it’s probably just coz my swimming technique is rubbish!

What next then, you may ask. Well, it’s Jason to the rescue! He’s going video analyse me (yikes) and essentially sort me out – indeed, Jason’s challenge is perhaps greater than mine.

So, fingers crossed for the next stages of this crazy year. I am still fully intending to complete the challenge I’ve set myself – no matter how hard it is and how long it takes – to do justice to the charities for which I’m raising money. We’ll see where this journey takes me next…