You might have seen on Twitter that I was off swimming in the sea yesterday. With the water temperature at 5 degrees and the air temperature not much higher, I wasn’t going to be hanging around on the water’s edge taking photos of my legs so this photo was taken on holiday in Cyprus a few years back.
But I wanted to make my post this weekend about swimming so that it also fits with the SWAP revitalise prompt. Because, oh my goodness does swimming revitalise me! I have always loved swimming. I learnt young and took to it instantly. I remember my swimming teacher asking me whether I wanted to try for my five metre badge (who remembers those 1970s and 80s swimming badges?!) and by the end of the lesson I’d earned my five, 10 and 25 metres badges.
Over the years swimming is pretty much the only exercise I have done and enjoyed consistently. There’s been gaps, of course. I don’t remember swimming while I was at university and when I was running more than I can be bothered to these days I swam a lot less. But overall swimming has been the consistent. I’m lucky that for 24 years I’ve lived in London I have always lived or worked within 20 minutes walk of a pool. In fact at one office I could see into the pool from the kitchen.
Swimming looks after my head like no other physical exercise. I think clearly while in the water. Solutions to personal and professional problems reveal themselves. I work through break-ups and make-ups. I relive happy moments and process sad ones.
More recently – like every other woman approaching perimenopause! – I’ve started outdoor swimming and I absolutely bloody love it. The sharp bite of the cold see water and the delicious tingling that takes over your whole body. The smell of petrichor as we get the woody end of the lake on a Monday morning. The incredible Welsh landscape when I’m swimming in the lakes on visits. Every outdoor dip makes me feel so alive.