Alice joins me to speak about her Masters in Public Health, and the important role she believes that outdoor swimming could play in this area.
Like many swimmers I’ve heard about the personal benefits of open water swimming, as well as experiencing this myself. Alice describes how this might work on a wider, population level, and the challenges that might bring. I was really interested to hear about the idea of doctors prescribing outdoor swimming!
Author Kerry Andrew joins me to talk about SKIN, a story of mystery, myths and – of course – swimming.
SKIN follows the journey of eleven-year-old Matty. Joe, father to Matty, has disappeared, and nobody will explain where he’s gone, or why. Kerry captures the joy of outdoor swimming as Matty finds peace in the water, firstly in the Hampstead Ponds, and later in the loughs of Ireland, although it’s not always a harmonious relationship.
In this episode, Kerry describes the novel and the inspiration, as well as a dream swim that’s definitely going on my wishlist!
COVID-19 put many things on hold, including swimming, with many people unable to access the water. So what’s it been like for wild swimmers? In this episode I speak to swimmers about their experiences, including those who put training on hold, and those who started wild swimming for the first time.
Many swimmers – including myself – speak of a new appreciation for swimming, and the release that being in the water gives them, plus a new appreciation for nature after being stuck indoors for so long.
Thank you to Eva, Lisa, Liz H, Liz R, Nadia and Russ for sharing their experiences for this episode.
In 2020, Jo Jones took on the Bristol Channel, following in the footsteps of Kathleen Thomas, the first person to cross the channel almost 100 years earlier. But things didn’t go to plan, and with the open water swimming season coming to a close, a broken boat and bad weather put the swim under threat.
Jo talks through the lessons learnt over her journey, from the resilience needed to bounce back from the cancelled swim, to how her mindset of ‘just enjoy it’ led to her setting the fastest ever time for the crossing.
P B Hughes is a cold water swimmer and poet from London. In this episode she describes the courage needed to attempt cold water swimming, and observes that this courage is something she’s been able to take strength in during difficult times. She also describes the parallels between cold water swimming and her creative work.
P B finishes the episode by sharing a couple of her poems.
Tamsin Calidas followed her dream of moving from London to a remote Scottish island. Relocating and adjusting to island life wasn’t without its challenges, and Tamsin shares how sea swimming and finding a bond with nature has helped her overcome those difficult times, and has now started to inspire her creative work.
I love how Tamsin describes the transformative impact swimming had for her, from forcing her to face her fears, to motivating her to get up in the morning. It’s allowed her to connect with her physical self and find a sense of release, or a place of peace, while being held by the water.
Tamsin shares an extract from her book at the end of the episode, and listening to it is like being in the water, swimming alongside her.
Tamsin is a writer and photographer. Her memoir, “I Am An Island” explores the challenges we all face, and is available now.
Shannon Keegan has a personal relationship with Lake Memphremagog. It’s the place that inspired her to take part in her first open water swim event, and where she caught the wild swimming bug, so it’s no surprise it’s somewhere that she’s returned to multiple times since. In this episode she talks about swimming across the 25 mile lake in search of Memphre – the mythical lake creature who lives there.
Shannon speaks in such a real and honest way about swimming, from the nerves before her first event, to what it felt like as she stepped into the water at nighttime for her 25 mile swim.
Through her work at Intrepid Water, Shannon helps other people find that same love of outdoor swimming, and shes’ been documenting the experiences of endurance swimmers through Marathon Swim Stories.
I share my once in a lifetime experience of swimming from the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz. Not quite the route of the legendary swim from the prison, but close enough (I’ll have to go back one day!)
I can’t swim right now due to lockdown conditions, but I can reminisce about swimming! From being so nervous I didn’t want to go, to being in the water and seeing these two iconic landmarks from a very different perspective.