swim with pride

Swimming with Pride: My Story

By Stacey Moore

I have always been an active person.  I used to run as a teenager and I was always on my bike.  I played rugby for most of my adult life but knew I couldn't continue with that as I got older. I needed another sport and so I decided that, as I am a runner and cyclist (self-labelled), triathlons were the perfect transition.

But what about the swim?

After my first triathlon I knew that it was the swim that let me down – I was slow and inefficient and it was due to my technique: I didn't kick my legs or put my face in the water which meant that I wasn’t streamlined and so my arms were dragging me through like a dead weight. It’s what I call the “oblique method” (because it looks like a “forward-slash”).




After a recommendation from a friend, I joined Her Spirit for swimming lessons in the pool. I signed up to the 6 week course and within those 6 weeks I could see my technique develop to freestyle.  My default was still the “oblique method” but I knew I could swim freestyle.

Immediately after the course finished, lockdown hit and the pools closed.  Later, and after a knee injury, I decided to try swimming again. I needed to exercise for both my mental and physical health as I could feel both decline.

I tried swimming on my own and I was able to swim with the “oblique method” and progressed to freestyle but I knew I needed more. I needed help with the technique but more so I needed a community. Knowing how fun and inclusive the sessions were with HerSpirit, I reached out and decided to attend more sessions.  I am proud to say that my default is no longer the “oblique method” and I have started to swim in open water with an amazing bunch of women who have all inspired me in different ways. 


swim with prideswim with pride


As an openly confident lesbian, I never consciously worry about whether I will fit in somewhere because I am gay – maybe it’s because I have never felt discriminated against as a result of my sexuality. I was lucky enough to play rugby with a group of women that created an environment for LGBT+ people that was considered normal. It was normal to talk about your partner without having to “come out” in the same way as a heterosexual couple would talk about their partner – because it is normal. I have adopted that way in the heteronormative society that we live in and I subconsciously seek out similar environments.   HerSpirit is one of those environments.


My sexuality doesn’t define me but it is part of me. Being a rugby player doesn’t define me but it is part of me. I’m not ready to label myself as a swimmer yet but it is part of me and I am thankful that I found HerSpirit to help with the journey. 


Whilst I can’t tell you a story about how I struggled with my sexuality or give specific advice as to what swimming is like as a member of the LGBT+ community, I can be a lighthouse to show you that its ok to be part of any community even if you’re not ready to give yourself a label.