Caught up in the wave of enthusiasm for wild swimming, I’m going to wade in with the question and ask — what makes it wild? As a child no beach trip was complete without a dip in the ocean, after all.
Anyway, that question aside, it’s wonderful that so many people seem to be enjoying it. Of those I’ve asked, most say wild swimming is therapeutic.
So, I was recently persuaded to jump back in and remind myself just how refreshing our waters can be.
My daughter has been wild swimming numerous times recently and ran through a few safety rules.
One important one is to never swim alone. You should also know the area — it may be a beauty spot but it can also have hidden dangers, such as rip tides. We also had the reassurance of there being a lifeguard on hand.
After the first few tentative steps, I was instructed to bite the bullet and “just go for it”. Although it was a balmy, hot day the water was chillingly cold. Yet, once I was swimming,
I soon warmed up and it was utterly exhilarating. The sun-dappled water was surprisingly calm with just a hint of a warm breeze in the air.
Twenty minutes later, I emerged feeling invigorated and cleansed of all the stresses of the day. It was an absolute tonic. I’m not sure it’s something I’ll be doing when summer days turn into cooler autumn ones. But I will certainly take to the water again.
My daughter later posted about our swim. I was amused by her tagline “Swimming somewhere in the North Sea”. It made it sound like we were within a breaststroke of an oil rig!
If you’re tempted to give wild swimming a try, be sure to do your homework first to stay safe.
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