Travelling 574 miles to swim 120 metres. The Big Chill Swim Weekend

I just travelled 574 miles to swim 120 metres; Why?

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

Looking out from Low Wood Bay Marina to the white horses galloping across the beautiful rich darkness of Lake Windermere, up to the tips of the surrounding forests and on to the snow-covered mountains is reason enough.

What a setting! Note the expert time keeper on the left!
What a setting! Note the expert time keeper on the left – Thanks Jenny!

But throughout the Big Chill Swim weekend, that breathtaking view was also punctuated with cheers, laughter, world winter swimming champions, mind blowing feats of endurance, inspiring personal achievements, outstanding fancy dress swimming joy, hot tubs, hot ribena, fluffy dogs, wood fires, trail running, wild swims, wine, dancing, and the shapely buttocks of the ‘East German Ladies Swim Team’ (those of a delicate disposition may not wish to scroll down beyond this first photo …)

East German Ladies Swimming Club: Censored
East German Ladies Swim Team: Censored

 

East German Ladies Swimming Club uncensored
East German Ladies Swim Team: Uncensored

On the Friday evening there was a showing of ‘Big River Man’, the powerful documentary following Martin Strel on his 3,375mile swim of the Amazon River, followed by a Q&A with his son, Borut Strel.

The intensity of the film was balanced with a delicate exhibition of art and poetry: Chiang Yee ‘A Chinese artist in the English Lake District’, that was tucked away in a corner of the Low Wood Bay Hotel. Chiang visited the Lake District in the 1930s and wrote an illustrated journal about his time in the area. As a sinologist and swimmer it felt particularly special to read his thoughts on the inspirational waterscape of the Lake District and the parallels he drew with places in his home country, like the West Lake in Hangzhou.

“This morning I paid my visit to the lake and mountain. They smiled at me like relatives and friends.

And the next morning I completed a beautiful 120 metre swim in delicious water alongside an inspiring group of swimmers and cheered on by friends old and new. Very proud to have won my first swimming medal too – a bronze!

120m swim ladies keeping toasty pre swim. Ever so slightly excited...
120m swim ladies keeping toasty pre swim. Ever so slightly excited…
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120m Freestyle Start. Credit Jacqui Scott at Mountain Creative
120m Start. Credit Jacqui Scott at Mountain Creative
Enjoying 120 metres of Lake Windermere loveliness. Credit Jacqui Scott at Mountain Creative
Celebrating our 120 metres of swim fun with super swimmers Helen Lin and Helen Gibbs
Celebrating with Helen Lin and Helen Gibbs, the 120 Metre Freestyle Ladies 🙂 Credit :Jackie Cobell

Thank you to Chillswim for such a wonderful event.

芙蓉出水。Out of the water a lotus rises.

Cheers - Celebrating with Hilary Richardson - that's my pint , not Hilary's - she was smashing the 1km endurance swim the next day - congratulations Hilary!
Cheers!  Celebrating with Hilary Richardson from Wild Highlanders, who I met on the OSS swim on the Isle of Skye- Note that’s my pint , not Hilary’s – she was smashing the 1km endurance swim the next day – congratulations Hilary!
Mary makes sure the serpentine ladies relay team keeps meets the gender quota
Mary makes sure the serpentine ladies relay team meets Chillswim gender quota requirements.
Amazing
Amazing
Post 120m swimming excitement with Fiona B. Swim excitement levels went off the scale late that evening when I discovered I had won bronze - never won a medal before - wicked!
Post 120m swimming excitement with Fiona 🙂
Hilary and other 1km endurance swimmers head off on their swim
Hilary and other 1km endurance swimmers head off on their swim
Gold Medalist, Doggie paddle
Gold Medalist, Doggie paddle

 

芙蓉出水: (fúróng chūshuǐ) Out of the water a lotus rises

Get in touch:

At A Lotus Rises we’re celebrating  women in open water, from your first splash, through to wild swims and even swimming marathons.

You can get involved via the BlogFacebookTwitter and alotusrises@gmail.com. We want to share your stories, so we can support you and inspire others!

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