This time last year I had just started open water swimming
By Sally Ward
So here is my story ….
Then came the Winter Swim Challenge… I’d not swum in the winter before, I didn’t know if I would enjoy it, didn’t know how cold it would get and if I would cope, but inspired by Cath, The Merthyr Mermaid at the Halloween Swim I signed up and set my initial target at 220 minutes. 10 minutes a week, should be doable.
Very soon I realised just how addictive cold water swimming was! My target passes quickly and I raised it, first to 500 minutes, then to 2500 minutes as it became clear I was going to pass that.
I was hooked. I swam at every opportunity, in lakes, rivers and sea. Wherever I went I took my swim gear with me and contacted local swim groups to find people to enjoy the water with.
I was swimming 4 or 5 times a week, and loving it.
Every winter of my adult life I have suffered with fairly severe Season Affective Disorder. Not this time! The time spend outdoors in cold water completely transformed winter for me. From a time of depression and lethargy to a season of happiness and energy. The warmth of my fellow swimmers and the lovely communities I have found giving me so much joy ❤️
In the end I completed 2706 minutes – and loved every one of them (even if my swearing as I entered the water made others think I wasn’t having fun!!)
Sign up for the Winter Swim Challenge
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