Marketing & Communications Officer
Date: 25 June 2020 Author: Energise Me
We love to hear stories from people who have transformed their lives through physical activity. Having felt generally unfit, Mags from Fareham has surprised herself by swimming 2.5km and raising £180 for charity in the process. Mags told us how swimming has changed her life.
As I’ve got older, I’ve put on more weight and feel generally unfit. I now have many aches and pains that I didn’t have before. I can’t physically do what I used to. My job’s an office job where I sit down at a desk for most of the week and I wasn’t doing a great deal of activity. Whilst I like some sports, I am lazy and find it difficult to motivate myself to keep going.
I feel tired when I get home from work so I know sport in the evening will not be a success. I have had to think carefully about the times I plan sport and activity in order for it to have a chance of success. I realised that I needed a daytime activity and that I needed short challenges and goals to keep me motivated.
I began getting into swimming in 2018 when I did a Swimathon. I completed the 1.5km challenge with my friend as a way to spur on my fitness. I started training once or twice a week. Building up my practice from 20 lengths to 60 over two to three months. At first, I was really tired but soon before long began to feel stronger. I did the event with my friend who is fitter than me and we both really enjoyed it and went for a curry after.
There were loads of people in the curry house with their medals who were telling their stories and it was great fun. We both decided that we would do the 2019 event but would make it an even bigger challenge. This time we went for the 2.5km (100 lengths). I remember thinking that it would be a bigger challenge and that I better get into shape.
I made a pact with myself that I would religiously go at least twice a week
After the 2018 event, I didn’t keep up my swimming. In November time the Swimathon challenge info came out and we both put our name down. I knew if I was to do this I would have to get into training properly and much earlier, as this would be much more of a challenge for me. I had never swum that far.
I made a pact with myself that I would religiously go at least twice a week. I tried mornings and evenings but found the pool too busy for me. I settled on weekends and occasional afternoons and this is what I have stuck to and I have changed my life to accommodate this. Flexible working has allowed me to do this.
Again I started with 20 lengths and felt exhausted and gradually built it up to 50 or 60 lengths each time. I usually make myself stay in for 50-60 mins minimum and closer to the event I built up to 90-120 mins. I also added different strokes in. Breaststroke is my main stroke and I began adding a crawl stroke in every 4 or 5 lengths, but found it really hard work. Over time it has become easier; I can now almost do 1-2 breaststroke and 1 crawl which I can now keep up quite well.
I have just taken part in the 2019 Swimathon and successfully swam 2.5 km, that is the equivalent of 1.5 miles. It took me 2 hours and 15 mins. I have raised £180 for Cancer Research, Marie Curie and Swimathon Foundation.
I love it. I have become a water baby. The feel-good endorphins kick in and when I first start I don’t know how I will reach the end, it seems so far away, but I just keep going.
It makes me feel great. I love it. I have become a water baby. The feel-good endorphins kick in and when I first start I don’t know how I will reach the end, it seems so far away, but I just keep going. I have noticed my body shape change. I haven’t lost much weight but I have gone down at least 1 dress size and I have noticed fat leaving my tummy area. I feel generally so much more toned. I don’t have the same aches and pains.
Mainly laziness and not finding the time. Joining the gym and paying for a membership knowing I can pop in anytime and use the facilities has been helpful and gives me the motivation. I like the fact they have a café and I can stop and have a coffee after and update my swim app on what I have just achieved. I have been using the campaign on the Everyone Active App. In March there was an app challenge of swimming 15km throughout the month. I signed up for this whilst I was training for Swimathon challenge and am pleased to say I achieved this.
Having a challenge and goal to work towards is really good and that is why I like the app. I have to engage with it.
I feel healthier and fitter. Losing some weight, meeting people at the pool. Having a challenge and goal to work towards is really good and that is why I like the app. I have to engage with it. I put in how far I swim each time. It tells me the calories I burn and where I am on the leader board and I love it. Also, the app gives me helpful hints and I only use a bit of it, but I love it. It sets up lots of challenges and connects me.
Mags wanted to share her story to show other local women that they can also overcome these barriers. Time, confidence, fear of judgement and lack of enjoyment are all factors that women experience when it comes to physical activity. If Swimming isn’t your thing, hop over to This Girl Can for some inspiration.