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Monday 18th April 2022. Swimming for mental health

Met with Heather today to swim in her usual daily spot in Ullswater.

Heather is a fingerprint specialist for the police. I’ve never met a fingerprint specialist, I thought it sounded pretty interesting, Heather doesn’t share the same excitement for it ha!

Heather, like a few others that I have met, moved from the south to Cumbria just weeks before the pandemic hit and then found herself in quite a lonely position. But it was when she was invited to go paddle boarding with a colleague that she was actually more intrigued by getting into the water.

And 2 years on, Heather is swimming everyday to help with her mental health.

I don’t think Heather would mind me saying that she’s found the last couple of years difficult. Tough job in certain respects, lives on her own and is seeking out a community to establish herself in. Other than her struggles with the menopause over the last few years, Heather is fit and well and eager to reach out and meet people. But it can be really isolating living in rural Cumbria.

I felt a sense of sadness from Heather. And I’m glad she has found the water is a comfort and a support.

If you’re reading this and want to meet Heather for a swim (or a drink!) I encourage you to get in touch via Bassenthwaite Babes, she’s lovely. She graciously waited for me as I faffed around changing and also bobbed around in the choppy water. We both agreed, despite the sunshine, that swimming in the wind is our least favourite condition to swim in.

Now on rural tour around Cumbria for the week. Tickets are free!


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