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Room for all of us – LE031

By Karen Parry outdoor swimming

This week’s podcast guest has got a wildly different relationship with wild swimming than me. While this was a challenge for me as an interviewer, I think it is great. The wild/open/outdoor swimming community is large. And diverse. And that’s a good thing. Instead of debating what the differences might be between wild swimming, open water swimming and outdoor swimming, I’m far more interested in what the similarities are. Whether the cold isn’t your thing but measuring the distance and time of each swim is. Whether you swim all year round or have a shorter season. Whether you prefer a lake, river or ocean. If you swim alone or as part of a group. Whatever stroke you choose. How much you faff. How much of it is physical, social, emotional or spiritual. To me, none of those differences are big enough to overshadow the main thing that unites us – that we all swim in water that is not an indoor pool, by choice, because it brings us joy – whatever that means for each of us. It is fascinating listening to Lucy and hearing about the journey she has been on to become a triathlete. How she has embraced the swim element of that, and now undertakes swim events outside of triathlon. There is room for all versions of this story, and to my mind, no hierarchy in our world of swimming outside. No version that is purer than another. No way of doing it that makes one swimmer’s story superior to another. Every swimmer I’ve interviewed has talked about inclusivity and lack of judgement in our community. For me, that should be one of the most fundamental principles that we uphold as non-negotiable as we go about our version of swimming outside. Things we talk about Coach from 4performance, Havering tri club, Blenheim Palace, TriFarm, Borham, swim the Solent with Aspire, arctic circle swim blog, Jubilee river swim, Lakesman Tri, Leeds Castle, Beth French, Brutal Extreme Tri, Follow Lucy on social media - Paddle Pedal Pace Website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

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