I’ve always believed that sport is as much about improving your mental state as well as physical state. While some people like to jog or play football to clear their head, I like to swim.
I’ve always loved to swim – it was the one sport that I found completely natural from day one – but I must admit there was a time when I hated the thought of getting in the water. When it became a chore. When the smell of chlorine became associated with endless training, with the fear of competing in galas and the ridiculously early mornings. That was when I was a teenager when, frankly, like most teenagers I found better things to do, like lying in bed, like listening to music, like going out.
To say that finding joy in swimming outdoors has changed my life may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one. First of all joining David Lloyd where I love to swim in the well maintained 25m outdoor pool, whether it’s snowing, raining or sunny – though I’m not so keen on high winds. And more recently swimming in lakes and the sea (the North Sea is my favourite because you are away from everyone else and because the cold water makes you feel more alive!)
When my online publishing business went into administration in 2009 it was swimming in The Lake District with SwimTrek that saved me from a profound depression. And when I get down or stressed it’s still the swimming pool that I head to. So when Speedo approached me to tell my story for their new website I thought why not. I don’t think mine is a unique story, but I do think it’s a great thing that Speedo is doing: letting real people tell their stories about the joy that swimming brings to people’s lives.
You can read my story here: http://unforgettableswims.speedo.com/en/swims/restoring-balance/