On the 2nd of September 2017, British ocean swimmer Deborah Herridge successfully completed a solo swim across the English Channel. For anyone who has attempted, conquered, or dreamed of The Channel, the process is long with many peaks, troughs, and turns.
Before a swimmer even reaches the start, the physical and mental are tested. Deborah’s story of battling pneumonia, spending months in bed, and losing a close friend before the swim shows the level of testing Marathon Swimming can bring.
Swimming is a beautiful sport. It’s therapeutic, great for your well-being and gives you a full body workout each time you get in the pool. However, for me, it’s an extremely challenging task, but one that I am determined to complete.
Growing up, I’d always been an optimistic guy. I’d recently started my job as a motor mechanic and was looking forward to starting my life. Little did I know that everything would change in the blink of an eye.
When I was 16 years old, I experienced a life-changing motorbike accident which left me completely paralysed from the waist down. It was an extremely tough time in my life and one that I would never wish upon my worst enemy.
The easiest thing to do at the time would have been to give up. Living with a disability during the 80s was an almost impossible task, there were no ramps, no disabled access, and I just felt like I had nothing to live for.