My Swimathon challenge starts here

by Ben Wicks Media & PR Manager Ben Wicks, one of Marie Curie’s Media & PR Managers, is taking on the world’s biggest fundraising swim event, Swimathon. In the run up to the challenge Ben will be telling his story, documenting all the aches and pains of training and explaining why he is raising money for Marie Curie. Ben-by-daff

I first decided to take on the Swimathon challenge in June last year with all the intentions of kick starting my training nice and early in the summer. But as many of my friends and family will pay testament to, I’m an expert procrastinator. So now I find myself looking at the start of 2015 with very little training under my belt.
Like many people this week I woke up on Monday morning realising that the New Year is well and truly underway, and the annual two week excuse to gorge on food and chocolate has long finished. For months now I’ve been bending the ear of family and friends about my two challenges this year, which are Swimathon and the London Marathon. People think I’m mad for doing both, especially as they are on consecutive weekends.

My motivation

I understand how challenging these events are going to be, but my motivation to succeed is contributing towards the amazing work which Marie Curie does. Working for Marie Curie means I see first-hand the difference our services make to people living with a terminal illness and their families. Whether it be a nurse caring for someone in their own home and helping to provide respite for their family, one of our Helper volunteers being a supportive friend through what can be a very lonely time, or our hospice staff who work tirelessly 365 days of the year. All of the work our staff and volunteers do in caring for people with terminal illness is just amazing.

It's going to be a long road

They say January is the time for resolutions and new beginnings, so I have no excuse against jumping in the pool to start my training. Now I don’t claim to be the fittest person in the world, although I do try and keep myself in shape. But taking on two challenges in quick succession is something I would have never considered before. On Monday night, I decided to get in the pool at the London Aquatic Centre (LAC), the location of my Swimathon challenge, to assess what shape I’m in. I never thought this event was going to be a walk in the park, but it wasn’t until I finished about 10 lengths that the enormity of it really dawned on me. After 20 I was exhausted and had to get out. It’s difficult to understand how long 5K really is, so to give you an idea it’s 100 lengths of the LAC pool. I have a long, long way to go but I will get there. Even if it takes me all day I’ll finish that challenge. This is my first blog and I’ll be posting a new one each week where I will update you on my progress. It’s now 14 weeks until the Swimathon weekend…wish me luck!

Sponsor me

If you would like to sponsor my effort visit my JustGiving page and donate, every penny you donate will go towards helping Marie Curie provide more free care to people living with terminal illnesses as well as offering vital emotional support to their families. Or view the Swimathon website for more information about the event.