A mother-daughter swimming love story
My mother, Christine, gifted me a love of being underwater – I just can’t get enough of swimming. Today, we’re taking a dip at Knepp Wildlife Safari in West Sussex at their natural swimming pond. And, since we’re camping together, we decided to sit down see what it is about bathing that makes it so special and essential to our lives.
Our beautiful swimming costumes are by Ruby Moon, an international female social enterprise whose mission is to inspire women to live healthily and sustainably. Furthermore, 100% of their net profits are channelled to microfinancing woman entrepreneurs worldwide. The costumes do good for the planet as they are made from recycled nylon fishing nets from the Mediterranean, Aegean and North Seas. Enter “mia” at checkout for a happy £10 off your cossie!
Where did you learn to swim?
Christine: I was on the beach in Devon from a baby onwards. However, I learnt to swim formerly in Exeter Swimming Pool from Alan, a great teacher who was disabled but a strong swimmer. He sat on the side in a wheelchair when he gave us our lessons. Alan said to my parent’s “your daughter, she could swim the channel”. I did the bronze, silver and gold swimming tests. At that time, they had a ridiculous part of the exam where you had to take off your pyjama bottoms, tie them up underwater and blow into where the waist is to make a soggy weight, apparently to teach lifesaving skills. Not that I’ve ever swum in my pyjamas since!
Mia: Maybe you can better tell me where I first learnt to swim?
Christine: You learnt to swim as a baby in Nevis, the Caribbean, where we lived until you were 1.5 years old. I used to blow on your face so that you’d close your eyes and mouth, then popped you in the ocean for a few seconds, and then you would happily doggy paddle underwater. Then, I’d pull you out laughing. It’s important is that the child never feels worried. Also, I took you to mother-baby classes in Bath, England and later you went to solo classes.
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How often and where do you like to swim?
Mia: I love swimming every weekday morning. I swim in a characterful, old redbrick, Grade II Listed building in St. Pancras Public Baths, London. It’s lane swimming where you get in and do endless laps. I find it wakes me up before work and sets me up for a good day.
Christine: I like to swim in the Brighton ocean pretty much every day, all year round, from summer to winter. I am now a member of Brighton Swimming Club and enjoy a warm shower after swimming. While I was never a speedy swimmer, I can go for hours. In the winter, it’s not possible as you start to freeze.
What do you enjoy about swimming?
Christine: I love the moment where you first go into the water, and it takes all the weight of your body, and you feel like you’re floating. Swimming doesn’t just take the weight off your body. It takes all of your troubles away.
Mia: Swimming is my beautiful escape. Usually, I spend so much time plugged in digitally. Underwater is my place of calm. I like to focus on my breath, think through my day, and sometimes tell myself positive mantras. For me, swimming is a private, happy place of no judgement or disturbance.
What makes good a swimming costume?
Christine: One that looks serious about swimming while remaining stylish.
Mia: I agree. The first day I went lane swimming, I only had a beautiful but posey swimming costume, and it was awful. Sadly, I only managed one lap before getting out – I felt exposed everywhere. Nowadays, I always look for costumes made out of recycled ocean plastic like nets which are such an issue for marine life. In fit, I look for swimming costumes that keep up on the shoulders, protect the boobs and bum so that I feel relaxed and comfortable underwater.
Looking for more swimsuit costume inspiration? Read up on some great recycled plastic swimming costumes here. If you’re also a lover of swimming, let me know! Drop a comment below or tag me on Instagram and Facebook.
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