fitness · swimming

Swimming Just Got More Special

Maybe some of you have already seen this on your Facebook feed; a 15 km swim challenge by the Canadian Cancer Society to raise funds for cancer research.

A person wearing a red swim cap swimming in a lake with trees in the background.

I’ve been noticing it on my Facebook feed, and would think “maybe I should try to do that”. Really, 15 km in a month is what I normally do during the swim season. But I was starting to waver, thinking “oh, it’s summertime, I’m going on vacation” etc.

And then the Fit Feminists came to my rescue! Sarah VS commented on it. Diane Harper was interested. I thought it would be fun to track our swims together. Then I signed up! And Diane signed up! And now we’re both fund-raising for cancer research through swimming.  

For me, there are several motivations for signing up. The first is that I’m glad this is a swimming fundraiser and not a running one. When you think about it, there are SO MANY running events that are fundraisers. The Run for the Cure. The Father’s Day Run for Prostate Cancer. And, of course, the Terry Fox Run. Well, I don’t run. It’s not often that I see a fundraiser that involves swimming, my favourite activity. What a great way for me to get involved in raising money for a cause! 

The second is cancer research itself. As a health researcher (diabetes research, not cancer), I have colleagues doing some amazing research in cancer, especially in developing innovative imaging techniques to detect very early stage cancer. I also get to see how these techniques directly benefit patients. A recent study showed that the prognosis for breast cancer has dramatically improved since the 1990s. Research is saving and improving lives.  

The third (why do I always write in lists?!) is personal. In 2005, I lost my dad to colon cancer. The research around that type of cancer has also dramatically improved survival rates. Drugs have been developed that treat colitis, the inflammatory disease that eventually led to my dad’s cancer diagnosis. And regular colonoscopies are truly saving lives. I will NEVER miss my colonoscopy appointments.  

Another plus is this gives me a great reason to not accept ANY meetings between 11:00-1:00 in the summer, since that is now my dedicated swim time!  

Swimming is my favourite activity. It just got more special.

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