Jenny, aged 64

2016 GREAT EAST SWIM OUTREACH PROGRAMME

“When you retire you kind of lose your focus and role in life”

Jenny decided to support her friend Lynn by taking part in the outreach programme with her, particularly as Jenny was looking for a challenge, something to focus on following a long ‘back- packing’ trip with her husband the previous year.

Jenny had been a nurse for 22 years, so like Lynn, she loved the fact that she was also going to raise money for the Stroke Unit at Ipswich Hospital as part of this process. Jenny was worried at the start of the training as she had health issue with her breathing and although she could swim, she admits her technique was not good at all, and her legs don’t always go the way she wants them too!

So the thought of open water swimming was making her anxious. She also thought she would lack the stamina to complete the training and the swim, but by the end of the training she was able to regularly swim 64 lengths of the pool.

As the programme progressed, she became much fitter, her times improved, she was swimming mid week as well as the Sunday sessions and she said “It was so good having something that I’d committed to, so I felt I could give it everything I’d got”.

She lost a bit of weight and toned up and felt much healthier overall, including an improvement to her breathing. After the hard work she put into the training, Jenny completed the 1 mile course in 1 hour 42 minutes and 50 seconds.

Jenny recalls “This programme gave me more confidence to go out and face challenges. When you retire you kind of lose your focus and role in life. You’re still a Mum and a wife obviously, but I felt as though I was fudging in the dark to find something to fulfil me…and this was it”

She really enjoyed the camaraderie within the group, and several of them were part of a group on Facebook which is still active so she can still watch what other people are doing, which is nice.

Since the training, Jenny hasn’t continued too much with swimming, however, she has started running and now takes part in one of the Great Run Locals every week which she is really loving.

Jenny says “ My running is a bit like my swimming and I’m not fast, so I set myself targets and try to improve a little bit each week. I would never have started doing this if it hadn’t of been for the Great East Swim outreach programme” She feels like she can have a go at almost anything.

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