I Can't Swim

Published in Personal - 2 mins to read

The good news is that the title of this post isn’t entirely accurate, I can swim. The problem is not so much the act of swimming per se, more so the body of water in which I am doing it in - or not finding myself about to do it in, ie the sea.

I really want to be able to go for a swim in the sea whenever I want, even in winter. I know it’s possible, because plenty of people do it. The water isn’t even that cold. I know there’s a myriad of health benefits, both mental and physical, and I want a piece of that pie. The whole point of cold water swimming is that it’s uncomfortable, but I feel like I ought to be pretty good at dealing with physical discomfort - I’ve run for 6 hours straight or stood up with 175kg on my back. I thought I was at least decent at having my mind command my body and not vice versa.

As I have been trying to unpick why I can’t seem to get the hang of just getting in the water and swimming (I am painfully aware that if my metaphorical dog was drowning then I would dive in and save him with no moment’s hesitation) and I think there are three potential problems; firstly that I am not actually as good at dealing with the discomfort as I might like to think I am, secondly that for some reason I do feel more physical discomfort than other people, and thirdly that other successful open water swimmers are using some kind of technique that I am simply not aware of.

I’m pretty determined to make some progress with this, ideally while I am here in Guernsey for the next week. I think the first piece of the puzzle is to at least try and get in the water every day and see what new information I can gather.