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Friday 22nd April. Old faces, new swims

A day of swimming with old school friends!

Firstly met with my best friend Alexa who I grew up with and who was home visiting family. As our kids played in a canoe up and down the river, we took a quick dip together. Like me, swimming wasn’t a ‘thing’ for Alexa as a kid – it was more something fun to do in the absence of much else going on in rural Cumbria!

Then my next door neighbour Julia who I grew up with, who is now a secondary school teacher in the area, came to join us in Calderbridge and swim in the river with her friend Sarah. I didn’t get back in having swam already, but rather chatted to them both as they swam up and down the river. They were in for a good 20 odd minutes. I loved their crossing back and forth and their resilience to the cold! They told me how they’d met each other, finding their shared love for cold water swimming. How Julia, choosing to come back to live and have a family in Cumbria, took her childhood swimming in rivers and lakes up a notch to swim regularly with a group from Seascale; her challenges she set herself (swimming the length of Wastwater) and her aim to swim all the tarns in the Lakes.

They both agreed they swim to maintain good mental health, (for a break from their kids!) and for ‘me’ time as a woman and mother.

Their swimming companions, all having different walks in life but being a solid group of friends. A common story throughout my time blogging about swimmers.

It was so nice to spend time again with Julia, whose parents still live next door to mine, to come back together having gone off and done various things in our lives. Both Julia and Sarah and also my friend Alexa, later came to watch SWIM at our local theatre Rosehill in Whitehaven, where there were also old school friends I haven’t seen since Sixth Form in the audience!

A really special thing for people to cradle old memories and celebrate growing up in west Cumbria. Felt all the love.


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