Stories From The Water: Ellie

Black and white image of a lady smiling with suncream on her face sat on the beach

I feel free when I get in the water! The thrill of the build-up to a dip makes me feel purposeful and alive, and the sense of accomplishment after makes me think I can do anything. It was my customers who first got me into it, I’m an advisor in an independent health shop and also training to be a hypnotherapist. Many of them were talking about how they had been sea swimming through the winter - they always looked so high and buzzing from it. So, a friend and I decided to jump in last June!
Now there’s a little group of us and we aim to dip together once a week. It tops me up with a feeling of adventure that sees me through the week ahead. It makes me feel a bit crazy - in a good way - and that stays with me through the boring bits in the day to day. As the days get longer, we’re in there before and after work too! It really cements our bond as a group of friends, my co-swimmers are my tribe. The cold gives us a buzz that makes us laugh like madwomen! When we’re secluded, we like to take our cozzies off and skinny dip which makes us laugh our heads off too - I guess it’s the opposite of being buttoned up or repressed, we just bubble with happiness.

My favourite swim ever was my first with the girls last June; finding that activity with those people felt like something I’d been looking for without knowing it. I felt like I was home. If I could, I’d go back in time to tell myself to get out and find my swimming tribe earlier, find the friends I can really be authentic around with similar values and passions.
Aside from swimming with the girls and being social, I love to swim in the pool as a workout. I have a coach who sets me really challenging sets that send me into work with those same accomplished high feelings. Other mornings I love being a sloth and reading in bed with my coffee! On the drive in to work I listen to Brene Brown’s podcasts, she puts me in a great mindset and focuses me on the important stuff. In my spare time, I love going for long walks on the coast path or the moors, it’s so beautiful and the big horizons make me feel small. Sacred time to myself, as well as the moments with my swim family nourish me and affirm that I’m living wholeheartedly, which is a top value of mine. I’ve started again a few times in life and it’s great to find signs that I’m on the right track now! To learn from experiences and move forward with positivity is success in my eyes. If I could give one reason as why to someone should start sea swimming, it would be to do something that scares you, and find out it’s not nearly as bad in real life as it is in your head.

I sometimes wonder why we don’t ask people more often what brings them joy, it’s a beautiful conversation starter and brings about some amazing stories! Thank you Davy J!

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