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Sponsored swim

Hi folks,

I did my sponsored swim on Monday and I swum ten lengths.

Prior to the swim, I was asked how far I would go and I said I will probably do ten lengths, as if that was not much. It was more much than I thought.

The last time I went swimming was in January of this year but the pool there was smaller, about half the size of the pool I was in.

The last time I was in a full size swimming pool was five years ago.

So after swimming the first two lengths, I was a bit out of breath.

Anyhow, I did all ten of my goal and am proud of myself.

I calculated in my head yesterday how much I had made on my offline form and on my just giving page. All together the total came to £648.64.

Headway Portsmouth will be pleased as punch with that result.

And if they set up a sponsored swim next year (which I imagine their will), I will take part in that too but I might set myself a slightly smaller goal of maybe 6 lengths.

Some of the members were talking on the day about setting up a swimming club in aid of Headway. I could get some practise in.

Anyway, be prepared to see more just giving pages in the future :).

22 Replies

What a champion ! Ten lengths indeed ; I'd be happy if I could swim a breadth, but I had lessons many years ago and quickly developed bronchitis (allergic to the chlorine).

Well done Matt ; It's people like you who keep Headway up and running for people like me !! ;-) Cat xx

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Aww, thanks Cat :).

Oh, and the total is now £668.64 now.

I jusy noticed another £20 has gone in :).

Well personally the chlorine content is the one of the things I don't like about indoor pools. People are swimming and possibly swallowing bleach!

The evening of the swim I kind of felt a bit odd. You know the feeling you get when you about to become ill? The slightly weak feeling and stomach doesn't feel quite right. I had that feeling.

I had a nice bath and put dead sea minerals and lavendar in it and had an echinacea tea.

The next morning I felt good and the lavendar and salts in the bath soothed my muscles feom the swim :).


Very few people aren't sensitive to chlorinated pools Cat, when I first started swimming I'd end up sneezing and feeling like I had a cold for the rest of the day, but I discovered if I wear a nose-clip and blocked the water from travelling up the nose I could avoid that. You can buy a saline solution that clears out the nose (yuck) that you apply after a swim if you breathe through the nose and get sinus issues, but alas all I needed was a nose-clip.


Thanks Barny. The trouble was, I really struggled to breathe, especially in bed at night, and the problem lasted for over a month. So my GP advised me to avoid the swimming baths at all costs.

Last year I took my grandson for lessons with an instructor. I'd escort him to the poolside then wait in the seating area behind a glass screen. After the lesson I'd return to collect him and, after just breathing the air once a week, I had the same problem to a lesser degree.

So I've settled for my grandson becoming proficient whilst I remain on dry land !


Sorry to hear that Cat, I had asthma as a child and was encouraged to swim as the humid air was apparently more forgiving on the airways, plus it would help them expand.

It sounds like you had an unfortunate experience and have been put off for good. Your GP was clearly concerned about your immediate well-being, but to tell you to avoid such a healthy activity forever seems a bit extreme to me. You can get bronchitis from doing any strenuous activity that places extra demand on the airways, doesn't mean they're inherently bad for you in the long-term.

I've heard that some especially older baths that aren't well ventilated can have a build-up of gas that accumulates like ammonia. Onions are good at calming down the allergic reaction, I used to be given them before I was diagnosed asthmatic and put on inhalers and they apparently did calm me down. I no longer need inhalers and only get a mild reaction when exposed to a known allergen like fungus, smoke or cold air. Recently, I went for a run when it was cold and had typical wheezing/coughing afterwards, I ate two pickled onions and in about 20 minutes the coughing stopped and I breathed like normal again. Onions are a good source of quercetin which is anti-inflammatory/anti-allergic.


I've no history of Asthma Barny which is different to Bronchitis. Asthma is where the bronchial tubes go into spasm, and symptoms are treated, as you know, by widening the airways by one means or another. And there's the genetic factor which means there's no cure.

Bronchitis is an infection and needs antibiotic treatment to prevent the development of pneumonia. It was this risk factor that my GP was concerned about.

I do get lots of exercise though by either walking or cycling or chasing a ball around a cricket or footy pitch !

Not much exercise today on this cold rainy one. Had a strenuous gardening day yesterday so it's a classic 'duvet' one today.

Hope all's well with you Barny. xx


I wasn't suggesting you had asthma Cat, but was trying to draw a parallel between my own airway issues and how it didn't/doesn't prevent me from exercising and your bout of bronchitis which prevented you from swimming. I know bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes of the lungs, "itis" meaning inflammation. In that respect asthma isn't much different as it's an inflammation of the lining of the upper airways most often caused by exposure to an allergen in the environment.

I don't really think of asthma as a genetic condition, it's more of an environmental condition mostly caused by modern living and hygiene. Kids who've grown up playing in the outdoors in the countryside don't develop asthma nearly as much as those who stay indoors in super clean environments, have parents who smoke or live in urban areas and are exposed to air pollution. Then people wonder why they get hay fever, when they've lived in an urban jungle their whole lives. No, there's no 'cure' for many conditions if your immune system has been accidentally conditioned to react in response to allergen exposure, your body says something is foreign/harmful so wants protect itself, it doesn't care whether it really is harmful if it wasn't conditioned to live alongside it through gradual exposure after you are born then it may regard it as something harmful whether that's a peanut or fungus or chlorine.

Your doctor did the right thing for you at the time, but don't be put off swimming for one unfortunate circumstance, your body may just have remembered what happened the last time you swam and what you smelt/felt/saw, etc. and be primed to react in a similar way. It's a sort of overreaction, I don't think there was anything harmful in the air you breathed.


Congrats Matt...well done!

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Thank you iforget :).


Oh wow Matt, massive well done ! : ) What a great personal achievement and wonderful financial contribution to Headway. I'm over the moon ! : ) Angela x

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Aww thank you Angela :).


I used to swim for Leeds doing back crawl, however, I'm sorry to say my brain has forgotten it has a right side now. I don't think they do a circle crawl 😂x

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Matt you are an absolute star! Woo Hoo!

I'm sure everyone here is so proud of you and that's a huge sum of money to raise all on your own.

Your local Headway will be so pleased for you. Hold your head up high!

Well done!

All good wishes

TN x

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Aww, thank you very much nan.

I always feel like I am talking to my own Nan when I say it like that :).

It is quite a large sum I have conjured up and it keeps creeping up too. I got an extra £10 today to add to the total and may get another £5 or £10 next Friday :).

Yes, my Headway are very pleased with me and on Wednesday evening it was their AGM, you may have seen the video I posted, I don't know. Anyhow, I spoke to the manager of how much I had raised, offline and online, and I calculated over £600, she was shocked but pleased :).

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Full length pools are a fair bit longer aren't they!

Pre my accident I went swimming a lot so I'd see how far I could get under water at my local 25meter pool half way point was easy enough full length was just doable once warmed up.

Open water is a fair bit harder, years back on a work trip, helping one of the others back to the boat as she was struggling with the waves. I spent a lot of my childhood and 20's swimming in the sea so I'm a strong though not nessarly fast swimmer.


Yes, full length pools are a lot longer.

Years ago, my local pool's deep end used to be quite deep indeed. don't know how deep, it may have been as deep as you described, around 25 meters or a little less.

Anyhow, I used to dive under the water, feet first, and stay under for quite a few seconds. I wouldn't/shouldn't be able to do something like that now because of my shunt. I was told by nurses that I can't do any deep sea diving because of the pressure.

I think really that it applies to diving deep or reasonably shallow really. I used to swim 5-6 years ago and I used to dive under the water, not too far under as the deepest was about 3 meters I think. Anyway, whenever I would dive under water, I felt I could hear something that sounded not quite right with my right ear which is the ear my shunt is next to. Next thing I know I am in hospital as my shunt malfunctioned.

I did go back to swimming but steered clear of diving of any sort and I haven't had any shunt problems since :).

I don't like the thought of swimming in oceans. I was only a little kid when I used to go in the ocean and I would either stay in the shallow part of the ocean where my feet were firmly on the sea bed or I would take an innertube with me.

I don't like the feeling of the weed around my legs.

One year I was in the ocean in my innertube and the waves drifted me out to sea. Thankfully my Dad was in the distance and he came swimming over and pulled me back inland.

My upper body is stronger than lower but I am not that fast a swimmer either.


Well done Matt2584!!!

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Thank you Auton :).


Well Done Matt, v happy for you. Shirley x


Thanks Shirley and welcome back to the UK :).

I did briefly notice your post saying you had returned but I didn't have much of a chance to comment.

Hope you are enjoying it.

Take care,


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Hey well done that's a pretty amazing achievement x

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Thank you very much brady :).


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