Last Sunday, 6 wonderful ladies got in the Thames and entered their first ever open water swimming event and came out smiling! What a wonderful day, we were so lucky with the weather; the sun was shining all day so it made it a perfect day to spend with our family and friends who joined us to watch us
So, what was it really like? I truly truly loved it, there was such a lovely atmosphere and it was really nice seeing the friendly faces of Juliet, Katia, the girls and our families and friends. I think I would have been even more a bundle of nerves without them there.
As I had only found a wetsuit that fitted last minute and hadn’t had a chance to try it out in the water yet, I opted to do the event in just my swimsuit and I’m so glad I did. The water was 22 degrees and it felt delicious. I think the hardest bit for me was swimming towards the start line against the current and then treading water to try and stay towards the back but once we got going I found I got into a pace and really started to enjoy it. Being able to see family and friends who were walking alongside me as I swam was wonderful and being able to stop and take a breather and wave to them kept me going as did ending up swimming alongside my wonderful sister in law for much of the mile.
The water was such a wonderful temperature, a little bit of a tingle to the skin, enough to truly feel that I was wild swimming but I didn’t feel cold at all. I think I was smiling most of the way and I made sure I stopped by Temple Island just to reflect on how far I have come on this journey before swimming on to the finish line.
Would I recommend it? YES! YES! YES! I really would, and I have been! The lovely ladies that came to support me on Sunday, whilst they were caught up in my post swim enthusiasm all agreed to try outdoor swimming the very next night at our local lake. I am amazingly proud of them, especially as two of them had only learnt to swim the previous year. It was quite windy so it actually felt warmer in the lake than out but we were all full of smiles and very glad for the amazing tea, cake and soup we had afterwards.
So, what next? Well, I have already signed up to 2 more events in September despite thinking I would just take it easy once I had done the Henley Mile and friends have even signed up to the events too so we all have the same goal!
I have also signed up for a 6 week course of lessons to properly learn front crawl as I still feel like I’m drowning when I do it, with the lovely people at http://www.triswimcoaching.com who helped me so much with my preparation for the Henley Mile. My goal for the next event is to be able to swim the entire mile using just front crawl.
This is definitely not the end. I have to be honest, I was getting so nervous about the day. I didn’t want to let anyone down as everyone had been so supportive of me doing it and I also wanted to achieve it for myself. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it on the day, so I am relieved that it’s over just for my nerves. But now I don’t feel nervous, I just feel excited.
I have found something I truly love that hopefully I can do all year round. Something just for me, it switches my over busy and anxious mind off and I’m a swimmer for that time I’m in the water. Not a mum, not a wife, just a swimmer and I love having that time for myself. And my depression? Definitely much much better, I’m off the medication entirely now and feel so much better. I just wish I could swim outdoors every day.