There seems to be a plethora of articles, blogs, youtube vids and such like on wild swimming at the moment. I don’t know if its a seasonal thing or just a co-incidence but having watched a couple of clips and read a blog on the Urban Times this morning I am seriously considering taking up the activity.
I thought the most important thing when considering this is how close to the sea you live. But on investigation, wild swimming is not just about swimming from one land mass to another, or taking the plunge straight off the beach… Its about enjoying the freedom of swimming with no boundaries, with conditions that are variable and can change within minutes and enjoying the outdoors. Rivers, lakes, reservoirs and even ponds all provide swimming opportunities.
The real inspiration for me was Diana Nyad. A 64 year old woman who has just completed a swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida. She first tried this is 1978 (when she was 28) and has finally completed it on her 4th (and was to be her final) attempt. It was a 110 mile swim and it took 52 hours. Now don’t get me wrong – I have no intention to swim in shark infested waters for nearly 3 days …..no this is not for me! But what an achievement and what dedication to her dream! On a smaller scale a local swimming charity on the Isle of Wight fielded a team of swimmers to complete the Wild West Solent Swim. 64 people took part in the swim from Hurst Castle in Dorset to Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight – all the swimmers were home and dry within 45 mins and the only unusual hazard was the Powerboats racing through the solent about half an hour after the last person was out of the water – now if that isn’t an incentive to get swimming faster I don’t know what is!
So I am going to dig out my old speedo swimming costume, invest in a cap, (apparently an essential item) although I am still to be convinced that it is essential enough to compensate for the hair pulling trauma of donning one of these caps – let alone the overall picture I will be subjecting people to on the beach! Think I will be finding a VERY secluded spot for my first outing!