Saturday, 11 May 2013


I’ve never been a fan of swimming. Even before my condition deteriorated, I was scared of water (probably inherited from my mum) and wanted to avoid it at all costs. As a young boy, my family used to go on villa holidays to Spain but compared to my brothers, I didn’t go in the pool that much. I tried to learn to swim at Primary School but found it too difficult, partly because of Friedreich’s and partly because of my phobia. When I got to Secondary School, I didn’t even try swimming in P.E. as I was too embarrassed and scared of what others would think/say.

Since I have permanently been using a wheelchair, swimming has become even more of a problem. I can’t just rock up at any old pool and get in. The changing facilities have to be accessible and there needs to be a way for me to enter aside from tipping me out of my wheelchair. That is why over the past few years, I’ve used the pool at Keech Hospice. Not only can I get in easy but more importantly, not many other people use it, which helps with my fragile confidence in the water.

When I signed up at Westminster Lodge, the woman asked if I like swimming because the pool was included in the membership. At first, I said no but she explained that it was wheelchair friendly. The facilities sounded good but I still wasn’t sure because it was open to the public. Then I thought I’m an adult so shouldn’t be so image conscious. Who cares what my fat body looks like in trunks and so be it if people want to stare at my lame attempts at swimming.

Yesterday, I went to try it out and will definitely be going back again soon. Although my sister was supporting me, I was scared because my lack of balance meant I kept falling over. The feeling is quite enjoyable as it allows me to stretch out and kick (even though I do that in bed anyway). Amidst worrying about my man boobs, I forgot about the massive scar on my back that I sustained fighting a shark (that’s the chat-up line I use). I hope no kids were frightened.

Swimming did take it out of me, more so than the gym. Hence why I am a day late with this blog. I’ll be back tomorrow seems as I didn’t do one on Wednesday.

Bye for now!


  1. I think that is great that you challenged yourself Glen! Whether it is swimming or something else, I think we need to challenge ourselves to do the difficult things that we may be afraid of doing. It is important in our growth and development.

  2. exactly-it's just mind over matter!