Sarah Loveland is one such individual. This Saturday she will be doing the 5.25 mile "Chill Swim" in Coniston Water, Cumbria.
This will be no small challenge to Sarah. Just two years ago, having not swum for 20 years, she happened to watch the "Great North Swim" at Lake Windermere. She says:
"I just got it stuck in my head that I wanted to do it!"
However when she started training, she discovered she could do no more than half a length at a time!! Undaunted, she took pool and open water swimming lessons to improve her technique and stamina. The following year she swam that "Great North Swim" herself!
"As soon as I started swimming in the lake I was totally hooked!"
Now she is aiming much higher. Inspired by a Face Book friend who suffers from ME (and did a sponsored walk to her garden gate), Sarah has dedicated her Coniston Water swim to raising funds for Invest in ME.
Click on image to magnify - thanks to the organisers for the image
To date the farthest Sarah has swum in open water is 4 miles and unpredictable weather can make this sort of swim much more difficult! As Sarah says:
"Don’t go thinking that I love swimming and 5.25 miles is going to be a breeze. It’s definitely not. I discovered that swimming in choppy water is something that scares me."
And swimming within a large group may also be a challenge. Ever pragmatic, Sarah says:
"All I have to do is swim from one feed boat to the next, get some energy drink, gel or jelly babies (different boats have different things) and then onto the next."
Here's hoping that on the day the waters will be smooth and that the almost 5 hours that it will take Sarah to complete the swim will pass easily.
If you would like to sponsor Sarah on her epic swim then please visit
or use your phone to text in your donation:
A final word from Sarah:
"I will be swimming not just for me, but for all the people that would love to be able to get in the water and swim, but are unable to through illness."
Thank you Sarah, there will be many people willing you onwards on the day.
Invest in ME
Invest in ME
PS Sarah finished her swim in 4 hours 19 minutes!! What a fantastic achievement!
Her account of her swim can be read here: I swam the length of Coniston - all 5.25 miles of it!