Everyone needs a cheerleader

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This is my long-suffering husband who joins me swimming in cold lochs in the Highlands. We go for beautiful swims, getting glimpses of the scenery as we turn our heads to breathe, occasionally stopping for a rest and a chat, feeling safe, happy and calm.

But it wasn’t always this way for me.

Overcoming the fear

I first started cold water swimming alone four years ago, and I went through a long battle against my own dark fears. I would silently panic in the water, dreading what was in there with me or what might happen to me.

I overcame it enough to get through an open water triathlon, and then kept persevering because it was something I really wanted to get comfortable with. I got to the point where I could manage for the most part, but the fear would take over now and then when I was out on my own in the water. Much of my swimming time was spent in anticipation, waiting for the waves of fear to come.

The power of teamwork

But everything changed for me when my husband started joining me for swims. It was instant relaxation. Turning to breathe and seeing him by my side, or putting my head under and seeing the bubbles from his feet kicking, just made me feel safe and completely relaxed. I wasn’t alone anymore. I was part of a team. And I knew my team mate and I had each other’s back on this journey.

It’s the way I always dreamed outdoor swimming would be. Joyful, free and calm.

It’s so important to have those people in your life who have your back. They support you, cheer you on, and sometimes even join you on your journey.

Who are your cheerleaders?