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Meeting members of the wild swimming tribe and hearing about why our sport is so addictive

Meeting members of the wild swimming tribe and hearing about why our sport is so addictive
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United Kingdom


Meeting members of the wild swimming tribe and hearing about why our sport is so addictive








Episode 11 – a non-judgemental group of people – NB012

This week’s podcast guest Nikki describes wild swimmers as a non-judgemental group of people, who all have their own reason for swimming. I really hope she is right. Next week I’m meeting up with four of them in the Lake District, with my newly rescued greyhound. He farts when he stretches. He also wakes up anytime between 3.20am and 4.45am and cries his heart out just because he’s lonely. He licks unmentionably filthy things when he is out, then tries to lick your face when he gets in. I...


Episode 10 – swimming into rainbows – BC011

This week's podcast guest said some really profound things, as we giggled our way through recollections of everything that is funny about wild swimming - including trying to put your wetsuit on inside out and hopping around in car parks trying to get dressed. The first profound thing she said was "you'll always find a friend wild swimming." How true is that? Both in terms of the lifelong friends we find through wild swimming, and the friends for a day we find as they emerge from the lake...


Episode 9 – a strategy for keeping sane – MB009

It seems like a good thing to have a strategy for keeping sane. For that strategy to be wild swimming feels counter intuitive. Especially when so many non swimmers’ response to us is ‘you must be mad!’ In this week’s episode, my guest Miriam talks about how wild swimming helped her overcome anxiety. Which is odd when we also explore the sense of dread and conflict we get as we prepare to head out to do a wild swim, especially in winter. How can something that creates such inner conflict be...


Episode 8 – the colder it gets the more we’re enjoying it – NR008

Swimming in skins through the winter. Those of us who do it may understand the quote from this week’s guest, Natalie. “The colder it’s getting the more we’re enjoying it.” Once we are addicted, getting into colder and colder water can become what we chase. Searching for the buzz that comes from the shivers. Whatever the reason or the science behind it, some of the therapeutic benefit of wild swimming, for many of us, comes from the cold. Whether it comes through forcing us out of our minds...


Episode 7 – making a difference – JH007

Has anyone amongst us not done a sponsored event? A sponsored silence in primary school. Something for established national events like Comic Relief or Children in Need. Taking on a significant challenge to mark a big birthday. It must be quite rare to find someone who has never tried to make a difference, no matter how small, by doing something out of their comfort zone for the reward of their friends’ and families’ charitable donations. This week I interview Jane. She takes trying to...


Episode 6 – Fearless – JB006

As I was talking to this week’s podcast interviewee, the main word that came to mind to describe Joanne was fearless. This is a woman who had no formal swimming lessons. Who learnt to swim by watching others, and getting in and playing rough with the other kids. Despite this, she says she has never had any fear. And not just no fear of getting in the water and splashing about - she completed the half mile distance at the Great North Swim without any drama. It was amazing talking to her....


Episode 5 – everyone has an interesting story RD005

I started this podcast knowing that, before I even went looking, I knew at least… hmm, let me count…at least 15 wild swimmers who had done things I found fascinating and wanted to know more about. Of those only around 4 would be considered my friends. You know, real friends, not just folks you know on Facebook. People you make the effort to get together with and spend time with. The others were more acquaintances. People in the groups I swim with regularly or occasionally, who I know by...


Episode 4 – The Peace of It

The 10th of October was World Mental Health Day. Now my social media feed will be biased, as all I ever subscribe to are wild swimming related things, but I was nonetheless overwhelmed by how many people testified to the mental health benefits of wild swimming. This got me thinking. What is it for me about wild swimming that I find so therapeutic? Well firstly, it is the community. I’ve made more genuine friends in the last 18 months through wild swimming than I’ve made in the last 5...


Episode 3 – Swim Friends (DL003)

My friend is the self-appointed weather god. Which is great because she is my swim friend. In actual fact, she is my swim sister. Swim friends have the habit of quickly ingratiating themselves and suddenly becoming family. That’s who Denz is for me – my swim sister and the Swim Wild podcast episode 3 guest. And thank god she is the weather god. We swim together fairly regularly. And I want the weather I want. I want calm seas. Or a thin layer of ice. Or a foot of snow on the ground. Or a...


Episode 2 – why we do events and how (or if) we prepare (SW002)

Welcome to episode 2 of the Swim Wild podcast. This week I’m talking to Sarah, a very lovely, funny woman who very generously shares her time and experiences with me. Our conversation about wild swimming goes into many different subjects. But the thing that I come away thinking about, is how similar we are when we sign up to do an event. By the time this podcast goes live, she will have done the 10km Bwrlwm Bermo - Barmouth Hurly Burly, and I’ll have completed the 1.5km Aberdovey Swim. We...


Swim Wild Podcast launches! Episode 1 – Nicola Griffiths (NG001)

It was great talking to Nicola on Saturday – the first interviewee for my podcast. It’s taken 5 months from the first thought about creating a podcast about wild swimming to actually publishing the first episode. Along the way I’ve worried about not understanding the technical side of things, struggled to develop a brand and build a website, and poured loads of emotional energy into wondering when the right time was to launch the idea with the various wild swimming groups I am a member of,...