It's the New Year and many of us are taking on new challenges and feeling the need to push ourselves a bit. Perhaps by signing up for a run or maybe just having a dry January- and all credit to us!
Qualified swim coach and keen amateur athlete Becky Horsbrugh is taking it a step further and kicking off 2018 with a 16km swim across the Bay of Bengal!! In doing so, she will be the first British person to swim from Teknaf, off the southern coast of Bangladesh to St Martins Island and is undertaking this massive swim challenge to raise awareness and funds for the swim teaching schemes there which are run by the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research (CIPRB).
Becky has been kind enough to tell us a bit more about her upcoming swim and what led her to take the challenge head-on.
"This time last year i was recovering at home from major surgery, and all but bedbound. I had spent two months in and out of hospital and was far from my usual fit self. Twelve months on from that, I am now training for a ten mile sea swim and have two half marathons - my first ever - under my belt. I had been a regular fixture at Fix for years before my operation as I have dabbled in all sorts of sports - running, cycling, swimming just for starters .
Whether osteopathy, massage, pilates - I think I have just about met every single practitioner at the Richmond Road premises. They have saved me on many occasion, even when I slipped a disc bending over to stroke my cat goodbye before going to work. The last 12 months though the help I have had has been invaluable. I had abdominal surgery and had greatly weakened abs. I decided on a whim 6 months after my op to run the Hackney half. Seeing Luke at Fix before - and then when my back went after the race (oops) - after, got me back on track, even though I was frustrated I could not be as active as I had been before.
As much fun as it was running 13 odd miles, swimming remains my greatest passion. It was so hard when I was ill having to stay away from the pool - 5 months in total. But while I was recovering I had plenty of time to read - and just by chance found out about the appalling drowning figures in Bangladesh. Fifty children a day die there in the water, which is terrible. In the UK it is around 5 a year. I am a qualified swim teacher and I felt I had to do something somehow.
So I got in touch with a village north of the capital Dhaka called Sreepur Village which is run by a British charity as a refuge for women and their children who need to escape either prostitution or homelessness for example. To cut a long story short, in July I found myself there helping to teach the children some swimming skills. The whole experience was quite lifechanging in a sense and gave me a different perspective on life. Since that visit I have learnt a great deal more about drowning prevention schemes in Bangladesh and other countries, and have had extensive contact with the RNLI who partner with local groups in various countries, helping with training and other assistance.
Not one to ever take things easy, I have also decided to do a ten mile sea swim across the Bangla Channel in the Bay of Bengal the end of January, to help highlight the issue of drowning and raise money for the swim teaching scheme there. I will be the first British swimmer to attempt the swim, which is really quite exciting. The training is hard work, just fitting around all the other things you have to do on a day to day basis, but I am hoping to be as fit as I can possibly be on the day. Fingers crossed so far I have had no major injuries and I think that shows the importance if you are aiming for something big like this to get the right training advice and training plan. But also too I have to thank in particular the massage therapists at Fix as their great handywork has also ensured any niggles are taken care of before they become a major issue. I'm determined to enjoy my swim in January and even if just one child is saved from drowning thanks to the money I raise with my swim, then the hard work will have definitely been worth it. "
Becky's swim takes place on the 29th January. If you would like to sponsor her please visit www.gofundme.com/my-bangla-swim