Never give up

In 1996 I swam from Asia to Europe. It was about six miles, aided by the current of the Bosphorus flowing north to south. Training had been in a university pool before work, with a man much stronger than me. 

I was warned about the currents; there are many. It’s important to be aware of the counter-currents along the banks, which go up to the Black Sea. If you aim for your landing point, you will miss it and then have to swim against the current to reach it. 

Navigation was tricky as this channel was choppy; at least maritime shipping had been suspended for three hours. Where exactly was the landing point? ‘Just before the first suspension bridge in Ortaköy.’

People appeared on the bank, destination in site, but I was thirty metres from the landing point and being pushed away from it. As I tried to go forwards I went backwards, for ten minutes, then somehow I made progress and arrived.

Maybe this is a metaphor for life. Sometimes I feel I am against a current which does not stop, but I know that I can reach the destination.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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