Swimming as a physical and academic endeavour – HMD023

Matty posing thumbs up after our swimThis week’s Swim Wild podcast guest really got me thinking about what we throw our heart and soul into, and how we learn.
You could easily be mistaken in thinking that Matty is a virtually self taught swimmer. Having been thrown in at the deep end repeatedly at school until he could just about complete 25m, at which point he was adjudged to be able to ‘swim’.
When he came to want to improve his technique in his forties, as his potential for winning winter swimming medals became apparent, he turned to textbooks rather than coaches.
You will see below that the ‘things we talk about’ list is littered with authors who have written books about swim technique which Matty has read.Matty swimming in the river
And yet his assessment is that none of us learn alone. None us achieve our goals alone.
We tell people what we hope to do. We get them in on the bargain we make with ourselves – what we will give in order to achieve what we aspire to. If the people we select to let into this pact are the right ones, they will support us with advice, the loan of kit, recommendations, company and camaraderie. We achieve our goals with their support.
Matty swimmingIt reminds me of the phrase, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Maybe the child is our aspiration, and the village our fellow wild swimmers.
For myself, I share my goals with others in the hope that they will step in when I threaten to sabotage myself. This usually comes through self doubt and fear, with the temptation of giving up is sometimes greater than the strength to continue when it is hard.
I’m in awe of Matty spending 4 weeks perfecting the first set of drills he attempted. I imagine at times he wondered if he could actually swim at all. And yet gradually he saw improvement and pushed on and continued. And from there he just kept on going.
His tenacity was rewarded this winter swimming season just gone – I’ll let you listen to the podcast to find out how.
Matty and I selfie before our swimBut it is a great reminder to all of us to find the right people and to share your dreams with them – and let them help you achieve them.
None of us do it alone.
Things we talk about
Harlech, Chester Frosties, Chill Swim December 2016 Windermere, Winter Swimming World Cup, Winter Swimming World Championships in Estonia in 2016 and Slovenia in 2020, Great Fjord swim, Thames marathon swim, WeSwimRun Collingwood Docks, Budworth Mile at Budworth mere, Warrington Dolphins, River Mersey swim, Big Brutal Swim Llanberis, Sheila Taormina – Swim Speed Secrets and Swim Speed Strokes, Paul Newsome – Swim Smooth, Terry Laughlin – Total Immersion, Ernest W Maglischo – Swimming Fastest, Steven Munatones – Open Water Swimming, Oceans 7 challenge, Wim Hof, Bruno Nopponen, Llangollen Horseshoe Falls, Eisteddfod

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