Outdoor Swimming: Things I Wish I’d Known…

Many adventures start out as just a flicker of intent, mixed with a dash of terror of the unknown. Rather like standing at the water’s edge, you deliberate, hesitate, but eventually you leap, love it, and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

So, to avoid any further delay to your outdoor swimming adventures, we asked a range of swimmers turned open water addicts, what they wish they’d known before they started open water swimming…

“That no one cares what you look like or how you swim because everyone’s too busy enjoying themselves and eating cake; That the fear may never subside but the enjoyment, satisfaction and sense of achievement will only get greater; Always have a woollen hat in your bag; and always pack a cap, goggles and costume, as you never know when the opportunity for a swim might appear!” Manda Read.

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Manda Read, Team Mermaids

“That swimming takes you to another place: both geographical (far flung places where you meet similar minded people and have a hoot, even if you don’t speak a common language) and also takes you to yourself (without sounding too hippy-ish!): giving you the time to think over stuff, grieve at times, get some space and find the strength to face up to challenges in life.” Clare McRobbie

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Clare, (Right) and the Dive In Belles. Photo Credit Gail McClean

 

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Clare and Charlotte leading the Dive in Belles at Tooting. Photo Credit Gail McClean

“I wish I’d known how much more alive and exciting I’d find swimming in just toggs. That you don’t have to choose between being a wetsuit or toggs swimmer – you can do both!” Vicky Raybould, who completed her first open water event in 2016.

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“A fingertip’s worth of Johnson’s baby shampoo on each lens of your goggles. It’s ok to let it dry while you wait for your next swim. Then dunk your goggles in the water and shake off the drips before you put them back on. Never fails to stop them misting up!”, says Jackie Risman.

“I wish I had known that nobody cares what you look like in a swimsuit…and how much I would come to appreciate my health and what my body is capable of,” Barbara Brown

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Photo Credit Barbara Brown

“That Jellyfish can’t get down high necked swimsuits” Anna Wardley

“The least glamorous sport in the world…but life changing and prestigious” Sal Minty Gravett

“ That you don’t have to be an elite swimmer to do it – in fact you don’t even have to be a good swimmer. That I had been doing it my whole life already, it’s just that I used to call it playing at the seaside…” Polly Downes

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Photo Credit Polly Downes

“Almost anything can (and will) happen. And (almost) anything will be okay!”, Jaimie Monahan.

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Photo credit Arik Thomalen

“To be honest I wish I’d sorted my technique out sooner.” Geraldine Treacher.

“How huge a part of my life it would become.”  Jody Jones

“What wonderful, inspiring and downright gorgeous people embrace and participate in this sport…I couldn’t imagine my life now without my swimmie friends and I’ve achieved things I wouldn’t have even dreamed were possible five years ago.” Annabel Lavers.

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Annabel finishes her Channel Solo Photo Credit Annabel Lavers

“I use the strong ‘in the moment’ memories that outdoor swimming gives me, to give me confidence and courage to channel into other areas of my life,” Teresa Klesner

“That it’s OK to be a bit uncomfortable – it won’t kill you, it won’t even hurt you. And the joy of actually BEING in one’s own body – of experiencing it as a wonderful piece of equipment which could do so much I’d never imagined and which was so much more strong and capable and adaptable than I’d ever thought it could be.” Barbara Jennings

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Barbara Jennings. Photo Credit Gail McClean

“You have no idea how capable you are, or how far you can go until you try. Just a little bit more each time. Plus making really solid friendships so quickly,” Debbie Taylor

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Have you entered our SwimSelfie Competition? 

Win a years subscription to Outdoor Swimmer Magazine and a kit bag full of swim gear from Zoggs, and two tickets to the Women’s Adventure Expo.

A Lotus Rises is the swim blog for women who love open water and we’re very excited to be delivering our Guide to Open Water Swimming at WAExpo 2017, the annual flagship event of the Women’s Adventure Expo CIC. Never afraid to tackle the important issues, we’ve got together with Outdoor Swimmer Magazine and Zoggs to try and answer one of the toughest questions in open water swimming – What makes the best #SwimSelfie? and support you on your swim adventures, whatever they may be!

Submit your pics to @WAEXPO and @ALotus_Rises with the hashtag #swimselfie, for the chance to win a year’s subscription to Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, a Kit Bag full of swim gear from Zoggs (1 x swim cozzie from a choice of three (size 8-20), the excellent predator goggles, swim hat, ear plugs, and towel), and 2 tickets to WAExpo 2017 held in Bristol on 7th October to inspire you on your swim adventures. We’ve extended the deadline so that last entries are Monday 2nd October, with winner announced 3rd October.

 

 

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The Women’s Adventure Expo Guide to Open Water and #swimselfie Competition

 

Repost from The Women’s Adventure Expo Blog by Alice Gartland:

Win a years subscription to Outdoor Swimmer Magazine and a kit bag full of swim gear from Zoggs.

A Lotus Rises is  very excited to be delivering our Guide to Open Water Swimming at WAExpo 2017, the annual flagship event of the Women’s Adventure Expo CIC. Never afraid to tackle the important issues, we’ve got together with Outdoor Swimmer Magazine and Zoggs to try and answer one of the toughest questions in open water swimming – What makes the best #SwimSelfie? and support you on your swim adventures, whatever they may be!

Submit your pics to @WAEXPO and @ALotus_Rises with the hashtag #swimselfie, for the chance to win a year’s subscription to Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, a Kit Bag full of swim gear from Zoggs (1 x swim cozzie from a choice of three (size 8-20), the excellent predator goggles, swim hat, ear plugs, and towel), and 2 tickets to WAExpo 2017 held in Bristol on 7th October to inspire you on your swim adventures. Competition closes on Monday 2nd October.

The WAExpo 2017 will feature workshops and talks on all aspects of outdoor adventures, including talks from Beth French, SUP adventurer and ocean advocate Cal Major and Endurance Athlete Anna McNuff – it’s going to be awesome!

The underwater #SwimSelfie – breathing and timing is critical.

We love swimming!

 

The oh-my-goodness-we’ve-just-met-our-open-water- Olympic -heroine-Keri-anne Payne  #SwimSelfie

 

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The in the middle of a swim race in Sydney Harbour, but it’s ok sharks don’t eat swimmers do they? #Swimselfie

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Photo Credit Kristy McIntyre

The pre race excited/feeling a bit sick team Ireland, USA, Russia and UK  #swimselfie

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The UNESCO world heritage site #SwimSelfie

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The we’ve just finished a swim race and now we’re eating cake #SwimSelfie

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Photo Credit Lisa Peake

 

We’re storming a castle in a loch on Skye whilst wearing seaweed wigs and crying with laughter #SwimSelfie

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Photo Credit Gill Williams

In the middle of an English Channel Relay fancy dress including the pilot – it’s ok someone else is steering the boat #swimselfie

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A Lotus Rises is on a mission to increase visibility, access and participation of women in swimming. Our first collaborative workshop is at the Women’s Adventure Expo on 7th October.  Whether you’re returning to the pool, learning to swim or embarking on the English Channel we will be exploring all that open water has to offer with insights from across our women’s swimming collective and scientific contributions from the international institute of swim cake studies.

 

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