Jacqui Hargrave – better known as Open Water Woman on social media – was forced to give up running due to an injury, which led her to find swimming.
Every year she wants to attempt something different, and something more challenging than the last one. Last year she swam the length of Coniston at 5.25 miles, this year she has a whole different adventure planned…
What does your adventure involve?
Training for and swimming the length of Lake Windermere (10.1 miles) in August following surgery on both feet in January.
Why are you doing it?
Doing it to push myself further than I have done before (previous distance swim 6 miles) and it gives me something to focus on and look forward to now I’ve recovered. In addition I want to raise money for three deserving charities.
The three are all children’s charities. I have always supported Candlelighters, and encourage my children to do the same. My son raised over £1,000 for them last year. I’m also supporting Martin House and Save Babies Through Screening UK.
The reason I’ve chosen these two as well is because it is the chosen charities of someone that supported my son last year when he was training for his swim in Windermere. I wanted to show my gratitude and help them with their fundraising efforts.
What is the top piece of advice you would pass on to a women traveling independently?
Always have a plan, a back up plan and always have a goal.
How have you prepared?
Whilst I was recovering and unable to swim I only talked about it to people that I knew supported me and so when I began my training I already had a positive mindset and knew what I had to do. I’m following a training plan – I’d say diligently but sometimes things unexpectedly crop up and then need to change – but my focus has always remained and I just adjust if necessary.
Who is your inspiration?
Definitely my son, who is 18. He swam a mile in Windermere last year for charity despite his own health issues. He’s one of the most compassionate and kind people that I know.