Swimmers and their connection to Wild swimming.
- First of all I'd like to ask you about your connection to wild swimming and how it makes you feel? How long have you been wild swimming for?
I grew up by the beach on the south coast of Cornwall so the ocean has always played a huge role in my life. I’m pretty sure I could swim before I could walk and my parents would often joke that I was a water baby. It therefore comes as no surprise that I am often most comfortable when I’m surrounded by water. Being in the ocean pulls me back to my senses, I witness nature more intently and feel so much more alive after the rush of adrenaline that hits me when I immerse myself in the sea’s cool embrace. Overall it makes me feel more connected to nature, it calms my buzzing mind and promotes a sense of being present and content.
- 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?
The specific benefits I have witnessed is that in times where I am under a lot of pressure on land, whether it’s my job, relationships or family dilemmas – packing my swimming costume and heading to the beach is my first port of call. I know that as soon as I enter the water the superficial problems that plague me will disperse into the ocean, the waves will wash away my worries and the beautiful natural environment will nurture my soul. It’s during these moments surrounded by water that I feel totally connected to myself and to my environment. It gives me time to relax, to breathe and to remember that the world is bigger than any problems that I may be experiencing at the time. It also works wonders for my fitness and I will always walk away from a swim feeling energised and physically stronger.
- How often do you participate in wild swimming?
It varies depending on the time of the year but from April until the end of October I will try and get in every day! As the days lengthen it’s possible to fit in morning swims before work, lunchtime swims and evening swims after work. Depending on when I need to get kicked into gear the most! Over winter I won’t swim as much because that’s when the surf is at its best in Cornwall. However, this year I will be trying to continue swimming all year round.
I think swimwear choices depend a lot on your body type and also what kind of swimming you will be doing. Personally, I will always do a lot of energetic front crawl, diving and the occasional rock jump so a one piece or sports bra style bikini really suits me as there’s no chance the ties will come undone or the straps will slip down. I think one piece swimsuits are a bit more of an all rounder for different times of the year as well because they do keep your core warmer.
- How often you buy swimwear for wild swimming?
I only ever buy new swimwear when I’ve outgrown my current swimwear or it has reached the end of its life as I don’t want to buy in to the fast fashion trend. A few tips for helping swimwear last longer is to go for durable and ideally sustainable brands, rinse your swimwear with fresh water after a sea swim and hang it up to dry inside (a shower works well) as the sun and salt water damage the fabric.
- Do you have a wild swimming kit?
At the moment my swimming kit isn’t totally complete but I have a dream list of kit that I know would make every swim more convenient. This includes: a towel changing robe with a hood like Robie Robes, a Swim Secure flotation bag for swimming longer distances, a dry bag for putting all the kit in, the swimwear itself and warm clothes to change into after each swim.