On the last day of Christmas, 2020 gave to me...

... Corona virus so 10 days away from the sea.

Technically I class as frontline as I am delivering essential training. But every day, like many others, I go into work with the unknown. It is stressful constantly thinking about the safety of others. In my field of work, I have to get hands on, and they have to get hands on with each other. Our brains are often on overdrive ensuring everyone is masked and gloved up, that we have a constant supply of wipes and anti bac. It is exhausting.

Each December day I would look forward to my dip, or I would enjoy trying to work out another way of fitting it in. It would take me away from the chaos and uncertainties.

"Control the controllables"

Dipping each day was the thing I could control. When, where, how.

And then I started feeling rough, but I thought it was a cold. To be on the safe side, especially with the plan to see my allowed one other household on Christmas day, I went to an NHS testing facility. Less than 12 hours later I got the text that no one wants.



So that was the end of my dips. I m lucky to live on Widewater, a part of Lancing that faces a little lagoon and the beach so I was able to get outside and enjoy some winter sun once I started feeling better,

But it reminded me how lucky we are to have the sea. To have the freedom (normally) to go it is and enjoy it. It reminded me how amazing people are. The NHS operation they have put in place to manage this pandemic is inspiring and because of their hard work, I didn't see family members on Christmas day and risk passing it on.

For some, 2020 is a wipe out year, one to forget. But I struggle with that. Many have been through a lot and experienced some life changing struggles. Up until 2020 I had lived a very lucky, and to a degree, innocent life. Although nothing life changing happened to me directly, I witnessed the effect on many and 2020 was an eye opener. People around me lost loved ones, colleagues, became terminally ill, lost jobs.

I don't like the term, "it puts things into perspective" because you are comparing yourself against others, and feeling better about other's misfortune, However, it reminded me of the things I should show more gratitude for and appreciate. It has given me a chance to re set my balance so I can be more effective and helpful to those who need me.

  1. Met some amazing Police officers and staff on the annual UK snow sport comp

  2. Continued to grow my little junior netball club

  3. Entered one of the world's most extreme races (which I have since had to step away from)

  4. Built a relationship with Surfwell and have begun a new mental health project with Sussex Police

  5. Set a mammoth challenge raising money for Surfwell - swimming to the wind farm and back, trained and succeeded

Just a few things for me to reflect on.

So yes, goodbye 2020 but the New Year will not just wipe a clean slate, we still need to work hard, work together and look after each other. And,

Thank You NHS and all Emergency Workers and here's to daily dips in January instead.



Raising money for Surfwell

Surfwell is an amazing project.  They use surfing and open water to support the mental health of those in the emergency services.

All the money raised through the completion of my challenges is donated to Surfwell