Swimming is the glue that holds me together, becoming more important as I get older. I started in the pool in my twenties, having had no formal lessons, swimming 1x 25m length was hard. The pool grew larger turning into the ocean blue and after some guidance from a water-loving husband I gained more confidence. My dad got equally obsessed when he was 50 and never stopped until his final swim aged 91.5yrs. Having a place in Leigh for over 20 years made the swimming more accessible, starting in calm bays, hugging the shore, then going straight out from the beach, beyond the swell to find the calm water.
I met Kaye over 10 years ago. I found a swimming buddy and friend with similar fun-loving zest. Kaye’s enthusiasm made me pluckier (and probably cheekier) and she cajoled me into entering swim events again, keeping it a relaxed, fun challenge.
And now, I’m under the influence of…swimming. Sometimes I feel lethargic and not in sync, but once I’m in, my ‘swim mind’ takes over and I’m re-energized. Totally immersed in a moving element that plays with you psychologically and physically, that loud inner voice, trying to convince you that you’re out of your depth and can’t swim back to shore! That is something that I’ve learnt to tame over the years and it can still creep up at times, but not nearly as bad. I’ve learnt to go into slow-mo, and exhale long and deep into the water.
Since introducing regular yoga with swimming, I feel mentally and physically stronger. Yoga settles my breath and mind and prepares me for whatever the water and weather conditions are like. They are both entwined and give me extra resilience in other areas of my life as well. I know I’m not alone in striving to swim faster. But more realistically, my goal is simply to refine my swimming and yoga practice so that I can continue them both throughout the rest of my life.
There have been many swimming/yoga highlights to date, from Kaye’s WHO’s Escapes, 1-day workshops, and meeting more wonderful swimming human beings. A special highlight has been in seeing Kaye’s ideas and dreams become reality. To be able to swim at her toes during her journey has been super satisfying for me too.