Swimming + Me | #5


EXPOSED WHITE FLESH AND SUNBURN, HALF COOKED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS, QUEUEING FOR CHILDREN'S ATTRACTIONS, BUMPER TO BUMPER ALONG THE M5…GLORIOUS SIGNS THAT SUMMER IS ALL AROUND US!

Longer, lighter, warmer days, calling us to lidos and lakes, rivers and seas. Laden with hidden health benefits, open water immersions are not for the chosen few. Bodies of water are for all bodies who choose!

Swim in two’s or three’s…or twenty-three’s, it’s sociable and it’s safer.

We are taking a break from the Friday night swims, but welcome you all back in the autumn with a slightly tweaked format. We will still be hanging out up at The Swim Shed…so pop in and say hi if you are passing, have a coffee and catch up!

So many of you are taking part in swims, triathlons and swim-runs this summer, it’s tricky to keep track of you all — so please stay in touch and let us know how it went for you, we love a good laugh…I mean war story! We don’t have a banana-phone like Innocent Smoothies but we do have some budgie smugglers in the lost property! You can also reach us via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email.

Our lovely friend Jo has generously put together a wonderful insight about her relationship with swimming and allowed us to share it with you. Thanks Jo!

Have a beaut of a summer…see you all at a lake…Love Jane x x

FROM THE FIRST TIME I SWAM IN THE LAKE, I WAS HOOKED.

I have been swimming for as long as I can remember but my relationship with swimming has changed dramatically over the past 5 years.

As a child I was constantly in the water although I wouldn’t say that was always out of choice. I swam competitively and a lot of my time was spent either training, thinking about training or travelling to training. It became monotonous, I felt like I was simply going through the motions and I had stopped enjoying it. It was at that point that I decided to take a break from swimming since I saw little value in continuing to do something that I no longer loved.

I decided to start swimming again about 5 years ago. I tentatively dipped my toe in by attending some of the Swim Shed drop in sessions and very quickly fell back in love with the sport that I had lived and breathed as a child. Being surrounded by people who swam outdoors, the idea of swimming in the local lake was mentioned. I had never previously considered swimming in open water. As far as I was concerned, swimming took place in a swimming pool where there were ends, lane ropes and most importantly a bottom. The thought of swimming in a bottomless lake where I couldn't see the end and had no idea what was swimming with me was petrifying. I believe I may have even uttered the words “You will never get me in open water”.

I was, however, quickly persuaded and from the first time I swam in the lake, I was hooked. When I got out I felt exhilarated and excited. I couldn’t wait to get back in. I felt like I was part of something special, a secret club of likeminded people who were brought together by swimming outside. After building my confidence in the lake, I started to explore other places to swim. I have since swum in the sea, rivers, Loch Ness and crystal clear pools at the bottom of waterfalls. I have swum with a wetsuit and without, in ice cold water and in water warm enough to bathe in. I continue to search for new places to swim and am constantly looking to push the limits of what I can do and where I can swim.

THERE IS NOTHING QUITE LIKE THE FEELING OF BEING SO CLOSE TO NATURE THAT YOU FEEL A PART OF IT.

While swimming in the pool provides me with an opportunity to relax, become completely immersed in what I am doing and switch off from the world, open water swimming gives me so much more. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being so close to nature that you feel a part of it. I become absorbed in my surroundings, any stresses or worries immediately clear and a calm tranquility washes over me.

Swimming has taught me so much. As a child, it taught me a lifeskill, it taught me passion and it taught me that it's not always about winning. As an adult, it has taught me that my body is capable of far more than I ever thought possible, it has taught me to always push my own limits, it has taught me dedication and it has taught me that there is nothing more powerful than the power of the mind.

I know that swimming will always be a part of what I do and who I am. Swimming for me is an adventure, both in the pool and in open water and as far as I am concerned, you can never have too many adventures.

Joanne Wright

So for now, keep us in the LOOP by using #theswimshed for all of your swim adventures and watery escapades!

#TheSwimShed #swimmingandme #swimming #openwater

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