Just take it at your own pace – RF025

Rosa - this week's podcast guestThis week I talk to Rosa about how wild swimming can force us to confront our own limitations and vulnerabilities, and to recognise our strengths.
Swimming in open water can be so liberating, as we push ourselves to do thigs that we might not have believed we were capable of. This should be a source of real strength and growth. But if we are not careful, we will inevitably compare ourselves with others and risk feeling inadequate. We can put people on pedestals and think they are better than us, putting pressure on ourselves to be further on our journey than we are.
Being in cold water in wild places can make us really tune into our bodies. And often those bodies are on show, laid bare with all their imperfections. We make ourselves vulnerable and can be confronted with how we feel about ourselves.
Rosa in a wetsuit standing in a lakeBeing in such a vulnerable place can make for close connections. Often chit chat is eschewed for deeper, more meaningful conversations. People share their joys and sorrows. Wild swimming may erase many of the differences between us that are more visible on land, and we realise that everyone has their own path in life and you can only swim your own swim.
If you try and do anything other than this, you can come a cropper – trying to go further or stay in longer, just to keep up with someone, often isn’t the wisest thing to do. Getting in touch with who we are, where we are at and being at peace with that can be a gift of wild swimming.
Wild swimming can force us to test out our negative beliefs about ourselves.
Hopefully we come to realise that we are amazing and capable of incredible things. Just like everyone else in the water. Things we talk about
Windermere, Sarah Gerrish (Wonderful Wild Women), Suzanna Swims (and Suzanna’s episode), Eden Escape Festival, Ella Foote, Lindsey Cole, The Ponds film, Against the Tides film, Beth French, Books – Floating, Waymaking, Turning, Swell, The Outrun, Leap In, Wild Swimming Brothers,

Rosa swimming as a baby   Rydal water - one of the places Rosa swims

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