Zoggs Swim Diaries

  1. Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020
    Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020

    Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020

    The Zoggs Swim Diaries series aim to celebrate those undertaking a personal challenge or complete something to inspire us all. Mel Berry a swim coach and co-founder of HerSpirit takes us through her adventure of Henley Swim Festival 2020..

    Henley Swim Festival 4 x 1 mile Her Spirit adventure = 2 medals,

    You can’t beat getting back into open water swimming events to give you a sense of purpose and focus again. Thanks to Zoggs, Team Her Spirit rose to the challenge and entered the 4 x 1 mile event as part of the Henley Swim Festival. I mean why not do it four times rather than just once!

    Our team consisted of myself Mel Berry and my co-founder at Her Spirit, Holly Woodford and our love of adventure and getting our first 2020 medal! With so many events being cancelled due to COVID this was our first event and so didn’t take much persuading to take part over the August bank holiday. But what happened to the sunshine?

     

    Due to the weather and water temperature being under 16 degrees…. We opted to swim in our wetsuits but tucked under them were our trusty Wonder Woman and Batman suits! and of course our Zoggs/Her Spirit swim caps under our gold event caps. Today’s goggle choice was Predator’s for Holly and Fusion Air for myself.

     

    They say preparation is everything …. Haha I think we failed at first base on that due to COVID19 and Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” but this event is not about being the fastest but more the ability to enjoy going up and down the Thames by foot and water four times.

    Challenging yourself is something we both love and having never done this event or anything like this format, it was a great challenge to take on. Coupled with the fact that we needed to take everything with us, we needed to get a new tow float, that could carry our food, drink, shoes and trusty GoPro to capture the event as well as our car key! I was only slightly worried I would lose the key! I am not sure how I would explain that one to the garage!

    Ready to rumble at 9am we set of for mile 1…and down the steps we went into The Thames…. Follow the yellow buoys and multi coloured tow floats till the beach they said! How hard can it be…

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  2. Zoggs Swim Diaries: My First Triathlon
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: My First Triathlon

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: My First Triathlon

    The Zoggs Swim Diaries series aim to celebrate those undertaking a personal challenge or complete something extraordinary. This one is no different, as Jess takes us through her story of how she undertook her first triathlon and came to love swimming. Over to Jess...

    Swimming has always been a bit of a no-no for me. I’m pretty sure this is the case for a lot of women who, like me, don’t look like the women you see in swimming costume adverts. The thought of skulking out of the changing room in a skin-tight, small piece of lycra, to stand there with my wobbly bits/stretch marks in all their glory in front of all those people is somewhat daunting. I’ve endured it for the sake of my children but I am pretty sure bobbing about in the balmy, shallow depths of the ‘baby pool’ doesn’t really count as “swimming” and so it has been (rather alarmingly) around 20 years since I officially last swam.

    You see, I am a runner. I run under the cloak of darkness. I am an unrecognisable blur to anyone who might know me, and that is just the way I like it.

    But then one of my lovely running friends told me about this amazing opportunity through an app called ‘Her Spirit’ who were offering 30 like minded women the chance to partake in their first triathlon. So I decided I had nothing to lose and quite possibly a lot to gain.

    Quite incredibly I was offered a place and to say it pushed me out of my comfort zone is somewhat of

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  3. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Learning to swim as an adult
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Learning to swim as an adult

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Learning to swim as an adult

    The Zoggs Swim Diaries series focuses on people who are taking on a personal challenge whether it be learning to swim, working towards a specific goal or doing something extraordinary. Many of you have a story to tell and that's what we love about the Zoggs Swim Diaries.

    This guest post is by Donna Wishart from What The Redhead Said who learnt to swim last year. Donna is a top UK family lifestyle blogger who lives in Surrey with her husband Dave and their two children. Over to Donna...

    I have one vivid childhood memory when it comes to swimming and that is going to the local swimming pool with my class at school. We were around seven or eight and it was the start of our swimming lessons – which only lasted for a term. I had never swam before but, as I was painfully shy, especially around people I didn’t know, somehow I ended up in the deep end of the pool with the more proficient swimming, holding on to the edge for dear life. I thought I was going to drown.

    After that my experience of swimming was brief. I went swimming with my parents on annual camping trips. We couldn’t afford to go swimming in between those summer holiday trips and we definitely couldn’t afford formal lessons. So throughout my childhood I would splash away in the shallow end of the pool, arm bands on, thinkin

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  4. Zoggs Swim diaries: The sport that grows with you
    Zoggs Swim diaries: The sport that grows with you

    Zoggs Swim diaries: The sport that grows with you

    The Zoggs Swim Diaries series focuses on people who are taking on a personal challenge whether it be learning to swim, working towards a specific goal or doing something extraordinary. Many of you have a story to tell and that's what we love about the Zoggs Swim Diaries.

    This guest post is by Natalie Ray from Plutonium Sox who is taking on the Aspire Channel Swim this year. Natalie is a family, travel and lifestyle blogger who is mum to two girls aged 4 and 6. She lives in rural Worcestershire with her husband, the girls and a dog called Bubbles. Over to Natalie...

    Some of my earliest memories involve swimming. Ploughing up and down a pool to swim a mile at five years old. Waiting at galas with friends, giggling together on poolside and knowing that once we got into that water, I’d do anything to beat them. Then there were the early mornings as a teenager, training before school. Getting up in the dark and wondering most days why I was putting myself through it.

    Opportunities

    By the time I went to university, my competitive swimming days were behind me. I’d train with the university club and compete at the BUSA National Championships. But the hangover from hell kept me out of the final I’d qualified for.

    Years later, a chance meeting with an old swimming friend led me to try out water polo. I was in my late 20s, too old to ever be much good at a sport I’d just started. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable way to pass the time. It was great exercise but never felt like a chore because it was so much fun.

    Ten years on, I’m still playing. Infrequently and I never did get very good at it. But it has led on to other things. Friends from the water polo team accompanied me when I swam the Solent and did triathlons. An impromptu hen-do to a polo tournamen

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  5. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Outdoor swimming for the non-swimmer
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Outdoor swimming for the non-swimmer

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Outdoor swimming for the non-swimmer

    If you've not come across the Zoggs Swim Diaries before, it's typically where you'll find guest posts from inspirational people who are taking on a personal challenge. Whether it be learning to swim, working towards a specific goal or doing something extraordinary, every one of us has a story to tell. And that's what we love about the Zoggs Swim Diaries. Let us introduce you to Andi Wheeler...

    A few words about me – My name is Andi Wheeler, I am a 49 years old, size 24 and suffer from several long term health conditions (including Hypermobility, POTS, and Endometriosis among others – most of them contributing to Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue) that affect my mobility and exercise tolerance. I used to enjoy walking but gradually as my joints have deteriorated my ability to walk has declined and my weight has increased leading to a vicious downward spiral.

    I can only doggy paddle thanks to my stupid joints, I hate putting my face in the water and I have the greatest difficulty getting in but I LOVE being in the water – it is so wonderful to be free of gravity – for everything not to hurt just for that hour or so. I have been going to our local pool twice a week for the past 2 years or so – I don’t actually do a lot of “swimming” but use a Hydrotherapy Belt to assist me in a series of hydrotherapy exercises including walking , cycling and cross-country skiing with a few basic stretches and balances thrown in. I really notice it if I have to miss a couple of sessions and my mood also drops.

    Having a chronic condition, particularly one that is not visible (an invisible disability) is extremely wearying both mentally and physically – often you have no treatment options or the possibility of an end but you also have to put up with harassment from people – “why are you using a disabled bay?” “Why should I give up my seat to you?”, “why don’t you stop malingering and get a job?” The verbal abuse is actually better than the disgusted looks and sneers that you see on a daily basis. When I am in the pool I can forget all about that – no-one is judging me, no-one is sneering at me, I might get some funny looks when I use the mobility hoist to get in but at least I know I am DOING something that has a positive effect on my condition, my overall health and my mental wellbeing.

    In 2017 I discovered the Superhero Triathlon and decided that I would like to take part. I bought myself a tricycle (one of the many fun effects of Hypermobility is Poor Proprioception which leads to a terrible sense of balance) and in August myself, my husband and his best friend took part in the Team Sprint event. I have NEVER felt so accomplished – I have never been sporty and had never dreamed that I would be able to do anything even vaguely sport related let alone take part in a Triathlon! I decided that in 2018 I would like to try and do the swim stage which given my lack of swimming ability and water issues (I have a *wonderful* older brother who used to think it was funny to swim up behind me and grab my legs to pull me under the water or simply push me under and hold me there – needless to say this left me with a few “hangups” about water) is a real challenge for me but I WILL do it!!!

    andi 2

    After exhaustive searches, first for a wet suit to fit and then for an accessible Open Water Swimming venue, and with my Hydrotherapy Belt and a full face mask as security blankets I did my first Open Water Swim with Swim Heron near Staines on 25th June and I LOVED IT!!! I guess it helped that it was one of the hottest days of the year and the water was lovely and refreshing (and 22C!) but I did it and I hope to go back twice a week until the end of summer.

    In summary no matter what size or shape you are, no matter whether you can swim or not, if you freak out at the thought of being out of your depth or being splashed in that face, if you hyperventilate at the thought of putting your head under that water IT DOESN’T MATTER!! Get yourself to a body of water and relax into it. Even if it just sitting on the beach and letting the water come up to your armpits DO IT – it’ll make you feel better about yourself. If I can do it then I’m sure you can give it a try.

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  6. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Swimming the Bangla Channel
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Swimming the Bangla Channel

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Swimming the Bangla Channel

    On the 29th of January 2018 Becky Horsbrugh will be the first British person to attempt to swim the Bangla Channel in the Bay of Bengal. It's a 16km (10 mile) sea route from Teknaf to the Saint Martin’s Island, in southern B

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  7. Ventures into the murky unknown
    Ventures into the murky unknown

    Ventures into the murky unknown

    Having gained 30 medals in her professional swimming career, including Gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Susie Rodgers needed a challenge. Find out what happened...

    A few months ago, I called time on my competitive swimming career after 6 years and thirty medals topped

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  8. Zoggs Swim Diaries: A solo swim to France? No, it’s a huge team effort!
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: A solo swim to France? No, it’s a huge team effort!

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: A solo swim to France? No, it’s a huge team effort!

    The time is almost here! As Deborah waits for her channel swim to arrive she shares how she is feeling...

    As I sit here in the middle of the night, wide awake with a mixture of excitement, trepidation and some nerves that are coming and going, mainly from not knowing when I’m going to swim, rather than the swim itself, I’m reflecting on so many things. The main thing that springs to mind is the phrase ‘a solo swim’, when in fact it is far from that. The amount of people who have helped me reach this point would read like an Oscars speech, so I will try not to do a Gwyneth Paltrow, but I would like to thank a few people:

     

    Deborah with her swim group 'The Shack Sharks' Deborah with her swim group 'The Shack Sharks'

     

    • The swimming community, a worldwide movement of open water swimmers, social media support groups, swim groups that I am part of and all of their members, to Durley Sea Swims who provide a wonderful support network for people training for long distance swims and who have supported much of my t
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  9. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Swimming Butterfly (it's all about the flow, or so I'm told)
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Swimming Butterfly (it's all about the flow, or so I'm told)

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Swimming Butterfly (it's all about the flow, or so I'm told)

    What makes Joc #SwimHappy? The friendships, the conversations, escaping the kids and most of all the challenges! This week Joc shares how she challenged herself to conquer the ultimate stroke…Butterfly!

    Jocelyn a

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  10. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Progress so far...

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Progress so far...

    Now I am quite a few months into my swimming lessons I felt it was a good time to sit down and reflect on my journey so far. There were a lot of ups and downs – but ultimately I feel that I am really getting there!

    Baby steps…

    My first hurdle was getting over my own mental block of actually getting into the water, overcoming my past experiences and fear of drowning. As an adult through talking with my instructor I came to the realisation that although my fear was reasonable, to and extent it was irrational! I swim in a pool where I can touch the bottom with my feet the whole way along, supported by a competitive swimming instructor and strong swimmers all around!

    Lillian during her swim lesson

    Confidence…

    This took me a few lessons to get over actually walking from the changing room to poolside without my towel wrapped around me.
    I soon came to realise that everyone in the pool was there to swim and not judge! Now I walk from the changing room to the pool side - no problem.

    Face in…

    My main issue at the beginning of the sessions was putting my face in the water. I could put my face in, but only up to the bottom of my goggles. My instructor had a chat with me and explained with only putting my mouth and nose in – these we the most vital parts to breathe! It was not logical not to put my whole face in!

    Lillian's 5m Badge

    Flag Goals…

    My biggest success to date was my first swim to the 5 meter pool flags unaided back and front! A few months ago I struggled with the concept of being in a pool, let alone being able to actually swim a few meters confidently!

    Still in Progress…

    My current struggle is t

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