Why I Swim

There's a kaleidoscope of reasons we have felt the pull to cold water, some borne of joy, some of difficulty and some the darkest sadness. We wanted to create a space for ordinary folks to tell their extraordinary stories. Longterm we plan to create an exhibition (in the real world) and a book. Take a look and message us if you would like your story to be featured.

Why I Swim - Thirza Mulder

9 July 2021. Nearly 20 years after my last proper outdoor swim, I glide into a natural, 25m swimming pond, not too far from home, surrounded by flowering plants, bird song from the trees overhead. I need one lap to get used to the sensation, smell, temperature and sounds again,...

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Why I Swim - Sara Solnick

I love the water, I always have, though the love affair has changed over time. Now I live near the sea, in the Suffolk village of Walberswick, and going to swim at or near sunrise each day has become my most precious daily moment.It was not always like that. Outdoor...

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Why I Swim - Lilith

*Trigger warning – mention of suicide, anxiety, depression and disassociation. Swimming, for me, was a calling I didn’t know was happening in my life. Only starting last year, I fell into wild swimming as I floated on Ullswater, whilst a friend was pumping up the paddleboards; the main activity planned...

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Why I Swim - Anna Parkes

I'm Anna Parkes, aged 63 and I live on the island of Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly off the end of Cornwall.My day job is very creative; I manage an art Gallery, although currently I'm furloughed. I've been married to Steve for nearly 40 years and we have...

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Why I Swim - Mercedes Zetino

The ocean calls me. I feel its wild call every morning when I rise. The anticipation of a new sunrise awakens my soul and my body knows that I must get near the water. This is being alive. I didn't realise that I had been missing this feeling of aliveness...

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Why I Swim - Lauren Holt

I've been swimming in the sea since I was a child but my first proper outdoor swim that wasn't the sea was at a river in Kent and it was absolutely freezing but I just remember absolutely buzzing with excitement. I just kept thinking this is crazy… let's do it!Day...

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Why I Swim - Sara Barnes

I am a freelance writer and have lived in the Lake District for 26 years. The outdoors is where I am at my happiest, whether that be cycling, walking, running or swimming. I live near Cockermouth and my nearest lake is Crummock Water. My teenage son and a British Blue...

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Why We Swim - Kitty + Judie

My name is Sue Ashby (aged 53) and I swim outdoors at least three times per week with my BFF Debra Challis (aged 58). We are landlocked swimmers based in Daventry, Northants. Our nicknames are Kitty (me) and Judie (Debra). These are the names we would have chosen for ourselves…Here...

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Why I Swim - Sue Fairburn

What a wonderful starting point for all of us who find ourselves treading in the waters of this world. I swim to offload stress and worries. 
I swim to understand my limits.
I swim to draw in beauty. 
I swim to feel weightless. I used to scuba dive for the same...

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Why I Swim - Marie Smith

In January 2018 my lovely mum, Winifred died. She had battled for the two years previously following a massive life changing debilitating stroke in November 2015. She had fought daily with her goals of regaining movement. Her determination and strength of character made her hold on to positivity and hope....

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Why I Swim - Abby Cornforth

Growing up in the Lake District makes me one of the lucky ones I guess, I've never had to go far from my doorstep for a plethora of adventures.Running, gym, tennis and being dragged out for endless hikes by my parents would occupy my free time pre-teens.After leaving home at...

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Why I Swim - Franziska Lüdtke

Swimming has accompanied me for most of my life. The first swim after a period of abstinence always feels like coming home, particularly when it happens in open water. I’m a 51-year-old dramaturg and sometime journalist living in Northern Germany. In the past seven years I have lived in five...

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