• Sophie Ward


I am not a straight forward human being.

Never have been and I doubt anything will ever change.

Maybe my loved ones should have seen the warning signs long ago. 

My Mum went through hell and back to even get pregnant with me, let alone give birth to me. 

She went through so much emotional and physical pain to place me on this Earth. I am not ungrateful for the pain she soldiered on through me for. I am just sorry and disappointed about all the pain I caused and continue to cause.

I was never a problem child. I followed the rules, stuck to rountine, practised my manners, worked hard, didn’t speak until spoken to, listened and barely cried or caused kick off. I did however cause many troubles in the sense of my health. Always poorly and never truly fighting fit. 

School was tough. I had a few close friends but I was never popular or was ever recognised. My sporting achievements were classed worthy because they weren’t in hockey and rugby and I wasn’t  ‘pretty’ or loud enough to be popular. I was shy and every under confident.

I spent my childhood and teen years fighting for a voice and to feel less invisible.

The water was the only place I felt alive. 

The buzz from people standing in utter shock at my wins and clapping for me were the moments that kept me going. Nothing else in that moment mattered. What I was doing was worth all the outside pain and upset. This buzz was my life’s healer. 

My successes made up for my lack of brains. I struggled in school. More than I may have let on. I spent hours and hours on my homework. In hope that my grades would keep me in high sets and stand me in good stead for the future. Exams and so on never came naturally to me and so that made things tough.

I juggled 24 hours of training with a tough school week and 3hours homework a night. 

All with one goal in mind, to succeed in everything I put my heart in to. To prove myself as a warrior, an inspiration that inspires many and to know I did my best. 

To make myself and my parents proud.

So why am I such an oddball?

I overthink everything, every little detail goes through many processes in my mind. Over and over.

I give my all to literally everything. I give my all to people and projects that may not always deserve all my energies. 

I suffer with an illness that even I don’t understand. 

I forgive but I can’t always forget. 

I adore the company of people who are older than me. I feel I can relate far better with them and we are far more on the same wave length than I am with people my own age. This means my friendship group is a close circle. 

My idols aren’t the typical celebrities, I gain inspiration for the Great’s that defined history. Yes Rihanna is beautiful and a great artist but she has defined history like Churchill, Kennedy and Roosevelt. 

I’m seen as the carer and placed in that role even when it may be that I am the  one who needs the care.

Some memoriable moments. That make me, the person I am. That I often forget. 


The first day of school. There was a beautiful girl Valentina. She was so upset, beside herself with fear. Me being me, was shy. So scared but not prepared to show my vurablity. 

I was given the job of taking care of Valentina and becoming her friend. Even though I wasn’t the one receiving the support for my fears. Finding the strength to look confident and happy to help someone else feel comfortable, helped myself. Valentina and I became close friends for many years. Her home was where I spent my first night having a sleepover. I was so upset when her family decided to move back to Italy. 


I moved up two years early to the senior squad. 

All the swimmers presumed I would be arrogant and loud. When I came and was shy, quiet and kind. I shocked many. To me, my way of acting was normal for them it was a total shock, but I nice surprise. I gained a lot of respect from my fellow peers and respect meant so much because I was welcome into the team and made one of them. 


Winning & breaking my British record on the 100m butterfly. I was in so much pain and could hardly move after. Even with all the excitement. I was high on the achievement but the strength it takes to look like you aren’t battling pain is immensely tough. To hide pain with a mask. 

2009: quitting my career.

Not just the upset of having to retire but dealing with the ongoing pain, health problems and disappointment you have to get through. Is a lesson you can’t and don’t ever prepare for. Many people go off the rails. It’s hard to stay on them and at that keeping moving forward on the tracks.

2013: heartbreak. Breakdowns are always upsetting. The strength to accept the result but also battling with the unexplainable pain that rules your body and has caused the issue is more than words can express. 

2014; the American dream.

Going to America opened my eyes to the real idols of our time. Past Presidents and Hollywood legends. The ones who changed history forever. They helped me fall in love with America and sparked my motivation to become a legend in my own way.

2015: always one to follow the rules and accept what is told to me. I started to realise the lies we are fed, how brainwashed we are and began to do my own research. I began to feel more angry about being so dumbed down that I really educated myself and then began to find my voice. I didn’t speak up for me. I spoke up for others because others mean far more to me. 

2017: Lyme diagnosis. All the strength, caring, motivation, research, education and determination has helped me be the Lyme warrior I am today. I have found and am finding the strength to be open, accept and 

fight on no matter what. 

I miss out a lot on life, but I have gained a lot too.

I am often left forgotten yet it doesn’t dull my motivation to keep fighting to become a warrior. 

Legends and people who write our history are all complex and often quite lost individuals that teach themselves the strength they need to define themselves, the motivation to drive change and the discipline to stay focused and not give up. They are often dismissed and ignored but their persistence always winning in the end.

We may not walk the paths we believed were the ones we were supposed to walk. We may upset or cause pain without intention. As long as we keep fighting and our motivates are for good over bad. 

We are purposeful and our story worthy. 

Everyday we gain more strength. 

We must just keep hope, keep hope.



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Chronic But Iconic Podcast