I originally started open water swimming: `OWS’ in December 2020! I had wanted to do it for years as I kept reading about the benefits and I did actually feel energised after each swim. I swam from December, to April last year, but then because we were moving, I never kept it up.
My energy account is topped up at the moment, partly because the weather has improved, but I’ve found a community of OWS’s, and by a chance comment, I found a swimbud in my village. We have swum eleven or twelve times since 1st May this year. I realise that many of us have been OWS as children, at beaches etc., but it’s come to more prominence recently for the mental and physical health benefits.
The temperatures in the rivers and lakes we swim in, have climbed from 9C on 1st May to a ‘heady’ 19C in the rivers and 21C in the lake yesterday, whoop, whoop! There are triathletes, swimblers, plodders - many do it for their mental health. Some swimmers wear wetsuits and they marvel at us swimbling along in our cozzies, neoprene gloves and socks (we’ve ditched the woolly hats now it’s warmer - so brave, so fearless!)
The river swims take us passed beautiful gardens or country walks where people encourage or laugh with/at us as they stride along, often with a dog in tow…the dogs looking longingly at us! The scenery at the lakes is stunning and we both feel privileged to share these places - often with a moorhen, a duck, families of geese and goslings and the odd carp (oh yes!)
There are Facebook communities where swimmers offer advice on where to swim; warn of danger and help so much. There’s nearly always somewhere within a short distance where you can paddle, dip, dunk or swim!
During Mental Health Week, many people wrote how the friendships within the swimming community, provided stimulus and help with loneliness, as well as other mental and physical health benefits and I have to tell you lovely Moodscopers, it’s great when meeting fellow swimmers - we greet each other, have a chat or sometimes just give a knowing nod! There’s a great kindred spirit of a can-do attitude!! The feelings and thrills (endorphins not and-dolphins!) last for a couple of days, right up to the excitement of the next swimble!
I’m looking forward to swimbling in the sea soon and also hoping my swimbud and I can keep this going all year round.
What’s going to help you top up your energy account or fill up your tank - do share!
Love and Bear hugs x x x
A Moodscope member.