Swimming in Britain's chilly waters may sound less than appealing to many of you, but for lots of wild swimmers it's a wonderful way to get closer to nature, lower stress levels and have some fun. Go on... jump in.
We have swum in some beautiful spots across the country – The Lake District, Cornish seas, coves in Devon, the north east cost, Robin Hood’s Bay and Welsh Rivers. There will always be a wetsuit and swimming shorts on our packing list.
Our love for outdoor swimming began when we were both training and competing in triathlons. As we graduated from pool based competitions to long distance events and ultimately Ironman races we would look out beautiful places to train outdoors rather than have our head in chlorinated water. We quickly realised that this kind of swimming could alter our perspective both literally and figuratively. Cold water makes your heart beat faster, your breathing quickens and you are forced to focus on the moment – it’s a magical feeling. A plunge in cold water clears your mind and the ensuing rush of endorphins, combined with a reckless feeling of freedom, never fails to make us laugh.
Wild swimming is almost like accidental mindfulness – you get all the positive effects of being in the fresh air, absorbing Vitamin D and being with nature. When you in in the water, focusing on your stroke, your breathing, your surroundings – the world is still. When you get out of the water you feel renewed.
When we were invited to Newport to look around a home we are selling we couldn’t resist taking a slow journey down and taking in a day at our favourite wild swimming spot in Usk. We took our two small children and treated them their first wild dip. The sight of our three year old swimming freely in the river, surrounded y nature was wonderful and she loved it. We jumped in, splashed around and took the rare moment away from work to enjoy a moment together as a family doing something that we are lucky to have found.
So go on, be brave and jump in.