Swimmers and their connection to Wild swimming. #blog 7

Posted by Sandra Palmer on

Swimmers and their connection to Wild swimming. 

Blog #6 Katie Beardsworth

Katie Beardsworth lives in North Tyneside with her husband and four year old son, and runs classical music management business Polyphony Arts. She founded podcast Music Works in September 2020, looking at the impact of Covid-19 on the classical music industry, and how the lessons learned from Covid-19 can change the industry for the better.

You can follow Katie's work here:

Polyphony Arts website 

Music Works podcast  

Facebook  

Instagram  

Twitter 

 

Photo A.

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Photo A. B. C. D. Were taken by: Katie Lee Photography Website  Instagram  The rest were taken by Katie's fabulous husband!

 

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Photo B.

1. First of all I'd like to ask you about your connection to wild swimming and how it makes you feel?

Wild swimming is one of the key things that is keeping me sane in lockdown/Covid restrictions. I have had a year of extreme anxiety and periods of being very sad and full of grief, and wild swimming lifts me out of any bad place. I feel like being in the water is being in a natural place, where there is no judgement, no issues with my weight or how I look, and all my stress just melts away. The only thing it is possible to focus on is how beautiful it is for all the senses - and managing the cold!

2. How long have you been wild swimming for?

I used to love swimming in the sea as a child/early teenager - my mum loved it too, but I somehow lost touch with it. I got stung by a jellyfish as a teenager and although I don’t remember making a conscious decision, maybe this didn’t help. I then tried it again in the Lake District in 2019, and was absolutely thrilled to rediscover how wonderful it makes me feel! I then swam in lakes, rivers and the sea as often as I could, but being based inland the opportunities were limited. In July 2020 I moved to the North Tyneside coast and am now three minutes walk from the sea, and swim almost every day.

 

3. 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?

I wish I had done more regular wild swimming before Covid, so I could have compared the difference, but since starting to swim frequently in 2020 I am more in control of my mental and emotional health. It is something I can do every day which is exceptional, sociable, and inspires and exhilarates me. On days when I don’t swim, I can get very grumpy!

Swimming in the sea makes me feel connected to my mum, who died three years ago. It also reminds me that the world is beautiful and that there are wonderful things to be done, even in lockdown.

 

Photo C.

 

4. How often do you participate in wild swimming?

Almost daily - I probably miss 1-2 days a week maximum.

5. What features do you look for in your swimwear?

I swim in a swimming costume rather than a wetsuit, and my More Than Swim costume is my favourite one I have ever owned. It makes me feel truly beautiful, and I really value the ethos that focuses on the relationship between the environment and wild swimming. As a wild swimmer I am enormously aware that I am using the habitat of many species for my recreation and wellbeing, and feel a strong duty to be a responsible user of the water and the beach/riverside/lakeside.

 

6. How often you buy swimwear for wild swimming?

Rarely - I have invested in a couple of good quality swimming costumes and they are faring well so far!

7. Do you have a wild swimming kit?

Yes - I find that what I need for getting out is far more complicated than what I need in the water! In the water I have my costume, neoprene gloves and socks, and a brightly coloured swimming hat. For when I get out, I have thermal leggings, a zip up fleece for easy changing, a dry robe, woolly hat, and fingerless long sleeved gloves which my talented friend made for me, so I could have warm wrists while still being able to use my fingers to get dressed!

 

Photo D.

 

 

 

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