A confluence of swim stories – SMH032

Podcast guest Max entering the waterThis week’s podcast guests are Stacey and Max Holloway of WayOutside Limited in Oban, Scotland.
I went from being slightly anxious about how a three way interview over Skype would go, to feeling very comfortable with their complimentary conversational style. They were both very in tune with each other as both people and swimmers, and the confluence of their individual swim stories into a coherent narrative about their business was very easy to navigate.
It felt like a real yin yang relationship.
Swimming in a misty lochWhat struck me most about this interview, was a search for community and a desire to contribute.
When they arrived in Oban, Stacey and Max found many wild swimmers, but no local group. From there was born the Oban Seals. This simple, coordinating structure gave lots of individual activity a collective home. A carefully chosen place and time for a regular group swim increases visibility, raises interest, removes myths about the kind of people who do this sort of thing and reduces the barriers that people may experience to getting involved.
Swimming at MullFrom there, a community builds. The benefits spread like ripples in water. Loneliness is diminished. People have friends and acquaintances to ask for help. Groups pick up litter on the beach during each swim. People become more active. There is inclusion and prevention.
It is small but significant.
And that makes a difference.
Things we talk about
Oban, Loch Etive, WayOutside Ltd, Oban Seals, Loch Lomond, Loch Linnhe, Henley Classic, Cambridge lido, Bray Lake, Windsor, Outdoor Swimming Society, Big/Little Ganavan beaches, Highland Open Water Swimming, Sound of Mull, Lismore to Appin, Corryvreckan, Easedale quarry, Munro bagging, Loch of the Lowes, Arisaig, Moidart, Neptune Steps, Scottish Winter Swimming Championships, Wim Hof method

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