Swimmers and their connection to Wild swimming.
Blog #3 Lydia Paleschi
First of all I'd like to ask you about your connection to wild swimming and how it makes you feel?
For me, wild swimming is a way to keep myself grounded and connected to the real world. You’d be amazed how a ten minute swim in the sea can transform your mindset, making you feel invigorated yet calmer. As cliche as it sounds, it really does feel like you’re hitting the reset button at the end of the day and washing away any stresses you have. Alternatively, morning swims set you in great stead for the day and increase your motivation levels. It also puts things into perspective and makes you realise how much the natural world provides us with. For me, I love the simplicity of being immersed in nature. I get so much more joy from a sea swim than from buying something or watching a TV show for example.
How long have you been wild swimming for?
I’ve always loved swimming, but didn’t get into sea swimming regularly until after I’d moved away from Cornwall and was living in Cardiff and then London. It was at this point that I realised how important living by the sea was for me and how lucky I was to grow up with multiple beaches within walking distance. I started getting into the water more when I realised it provided me with a relief from the severe levels of anxiety I was experiencing in my early twenties. During a visit home, I can remember how after a trip to the beach with friends and spending time in the water I felt good for the first time in ages and decided in that moment I would be moving back to Cornwall as soon as I finished university. Since moving back I’ve been getting into the sea multiple times a week. Over time it’s built up and now I get in most days.
How do you feel it benefits you, especially since you have taken up wild swimming? What changes have you seen in yourself? E.g are you calmer l, are you sleeping better?
Short term it provides a stress and anxiety release, plus a sense of achievement that I’ve got out in nature and plunged myself in cold water. I always emerge from the water happy that I got in! Long term, wild swimming adds to my fitness levels and makes me stronger, plus it has been instrumental in my recovery from agoraphobia. Sea swimming has slowly helped me to rebuild my confidence and become braver both in and out of the water. There are so many more benefits than this to wild swimming, I could go on forever. We’ve actually dedicated a whole page on our website to the benefits!
How often do you participate in wild swimming?
At the moment, almost every day. Sometimes multiple times in a day! I tend to get in less during the winter mostly because there are less daylight hours and I’m usually working. Now I’m working freelance, I hope to be able to get in more all year round!
What features do you look for in your swimwear?
Mostly I opt for a one-piece as it’s suited to all conditions and any type of swim, whether that includes diving, rock jumping or anything else. Because I swim so often it’s important that my swimwear is long lasting and durable. Ethically sourced materials and sustainability credentials are a big plus!
How often do you buy swimwear for wild swimming?
To be honest, I really don’t buy clothing or swimwear often. I’m well aware of the detrimental effects of fast fashion so opt for long-lasting durable items which I can wear again and again for years. I definitely think it’s better to pay for high-quality items than to purchase regularly.
Do you have a wild swimming kit?
My wild swimming kit includes a swimming costume, towel and a woolly jumper for afterwards. It’s really important to get warm quickly after a swim to reduce the risk of your core body temperature dropping. On colder days I also opt for fluffy socks, a hat and sometimes wrap my towel around a hot flask of tea so I can dry with a warm towel and have a warm drink ready for when I get out.