The Whirlpool

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Swimming at Dawn began to recount my journey to the sea. Journeys, though, evolve and take on new life as the path unfolds. I love immersing myself in all forms of water and while I was swimming in the sea, I was also going to the pool or taking hikes with my family along riverways and inspiring spots that simply called out to me and begged to...

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The Ocean Calls, Freeing Me from the Weights of Life by Kathleen Wotton

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Be the change you wish to see! Kathleen Wotton's (IG: @ocean_calls_swimming) remarkable story epitomizes the power we have to transform ourselves and rewrite our stories. Read her story and you will see, no barrier is too great to overcome. Kathleen is a shining example that change is possible! Never give up! What a blessin...

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Moonset Swimming at Dawn: Treacherous Enchantment

moon-over-sea Harvest Moon 21 Sept 2021 from the Sea

Tuesday (21 Sept 2021) will live in my body and mind in a powerfully visceral way for a long time. Before waking I had a brief vague dream, right on the edge of consciousness. Bold capital letters, first in red then in black, flashed across my forehead: FEAR, FEAR. I awoke, disturbed. A premonition? Assessing, I told myself, There's nothing to...

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Poem: Shard [on grief] by Lily Robinson

Shard-on-grief-2 Shard [on grief]: I coil and shudder in pain.

Lily Robinson, a wild swimmer and poet from the UK, commented that my relationship with the ocean inspired her. Our connection sparked a unique collaboration between us, her words, my visuals and narration. May Lily's evocative words and my images help you find the courage to face and move through y...

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the water and me by katie and crow

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Entranced by katie's nature and soul moving poems that she publishes through her Instagram account (@katieandcrow), I am very pleased that she composed two water-inspired poems for the Wild Swimmer Stories series. Both -the eden that we share- and The Water and Me remind and challenge us to connect with ourse...

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Getting Caught in the Rip by Hamza Idrissi

casablanca-beach-danny-lau Casablanca, Morocco. Photo: Danny Lau

Fear and panic can turn a pleasant wild swim into a nightmare when suddenly things go wrong in the sea. Many people who spend time around the ocean swimming or boating will probably have a story to tell about a brush with death either about themselves or someone else. Fortunately, most people live to tell their stories such as&n...

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Ice Swimming: Cold for the Skin, Hot for the Soul by Oxana Sundkvist

sitting-on-ice-cover Keep challenging yourself: As a lifelong pool swimmer, I wouldn't have imagined this photo possible one year ago

Oxana's Instagram posts ( @swimming.oxy ) caught my eye as she shared her impressive cold water and icy swimming journey in her adopted country, Sweden. Below the surface, I discovered, as always there's much more to someone than first meets the eye. Oxana's story offers great inspiration about embracing change, forgin...

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Queen of the Winter Sea by Linnea Olsson

GOT Linnea of the Winter Sea by @emilgvsson

Linnea's love of Sweden's winter sea captured my attention in her story on the Instagram account The Sea Story Collective (@theseastorycollective). I asked her to elaborate on how someone might love freezing, cold water, horizontal winds and adverse conditions for their wild swimming more than the bliss of a beautiful summe...

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A Winter Swim With Walt and Wyatt by Katharine Montstream

AfterlightImage-2 Wild swimming becomes poetry at Cotton Hollow in Glastonbury, CT

Poetry and wild swimming. The power of water, especially cold water, to open creative pathways takes many forms. Poems are not just words on a page but often a reflection of how one moves through life.  Kath Montstream (@redhotchillydippers) combines her actions and words in this beautiful poem taking us with...

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Finding Calm in the Norwegian Winter Sea by Linn Krogh Hansen

IMG_20210208_190904_095-2 Linn swimming butterfly along a glacier 80 degrees North near Spitsbergen, Norway

I feel boundless respect and admiration for winter cold water and ice swimmers who brave the harshest elements to immerse and swim in extreme conditions. Many cold water swimmers experience powerful mental and physical well-being by exposing themselves to ice and cold and the temporary discomfort is amply compensated, and even relished, as part of ...

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The Language of Water by Helen Edwards

Underwater-world5-2 In her waters my body's words come to life and I know her language deep within me. - Helen Edwards

Helen's @artallotment was one of the first wild swimming Instagram accounts I began to follow when I started my @dawn_swimmer account in July 2020. Her artistic photos and often simple yet profound words struck a deep chord within me. Then I learned that Helen's wild swimming wisdom comes from her unique sensitivity and way of p...

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My Wild Heart by Sara Barnes

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With her wild heart, joy in nature's bounty and watery worlds as well as her desire to dig deep into the dark roots of the soul, Sara is a kindred spirit. Her photos, commentaries and video clips of her experiences in the northern UK captivate me and move me to continue my own exploration of the wild heart, the wild beauty. Than...

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Swimming the Knife Edge by The Elaborate Swimmer

IMG_8691-4 The Elaborate Swimmer - I face life with strength and beauty, creativity and fearlessness.

Cold. Knives. Edges. Water. Creativity. Pushing limits, pushing boundaries. Why do we do what we do? In this strikingly creative and powerful piece by the South African native and now Scottish Highlands resident, The Elaborate Swimmer takes us on her journey from cold to creativity and the power of the extreme to bring us into sharp reality wi...

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Finding My Voice in the Waves

Dawn Swimmer and Mariña, the Mermaid of Salvora Dawn Swimmer and Mariña, the Mermaid of Salvora Island

It's hard for me to imagine a more moving personal challenge than swimming at the edge of the open Atlantic from the island of Sálvora to the fishing port of Aguiño. One day in summer 2020 I overcame both real and irrational fears to do this swim, a swim I hadn't even set for myself as a challenge. Many layers of meaning un...

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The Joy of the Sea is Embedded in My Blood

Muizenberg_Cape_Town1-2 Joy of the sea at Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa where I live

Joy in life and the waves is what South African artist Lyn Northam transmits in her Wild Swimmer piece celebrating her life on this glorious planet enveloped in the salty richness of the sea. While many things change over the course of one's life, Lyn demonstrates how a love of the sea is an eternal affair and off...

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The Kraken Awakes by Kath Ferguson

eb16 Legendary yet real beast, the kraken lies below the calm appearing surface.

Yesterday, 10 October 2020, was World Mental Health Day. Depression and anxiety are terrible bedfellows. They haunt you, perturb you, rarely leave you in peace, and hang over your head like a veil of despair tinging with darkness the brightest of days. On the surface, one can appear okay but the storm within may rage darkly, sadly, i...

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Waking to the Lure of the Sea by Sara Solnick

IMG_5077-2 Waking up to the Light

As I've entered the world of swimming, as in any discipline, I've discovered the worlds within worlds. One of the major distinctions is pool vs. wild or outdoor swimming. Sara Solnick, a lifelong pool swimmer from the UK, shares her moving story of transformation from fear to flow in the sea and how she has also become ...

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Embracing Fluidity by Ángela Lavilla Cañedo

IMG-20200830-WA0025-2 Being wild, untamed, is being fully me.

Ángela Lavilla Cañedo's moving Wild Swimmer Story explores how wild cold water and embracing her wildish nature have saved her in body and mind during some challenging years. Embracing our wildish nature means to awaken our inner worlds, live life and our creativity fully, reject confining social norms that stigmatize ...

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The Sea Sets Me Free by Heidi Westbrook

20170920_133207-02_resized_20200918_043049190-2 I had found my true self in the sea

Today's powerful Wild Swimmer Story is a woman's discovery of herself, her worth and her decision to live. Many women (too many) allow fears, habits and hang-ups to keep them from embracing what their souls yearn for and need, ignoring what instinct and inner wisdom shouts at them to do. B...

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Swimming through Pain: A New Normal by Megan Binns

IMG-20200802-WA0022 I have always enjoyed swimming with no pressures, no whistles and no medals.

I am excited to inaugurate Wilder Swimmer Stories with this moving contribution from Megan Binns, a youth charity worker originally from North Wales but currently located near Edinburgh, Scotland. Megan also runs the Instagram account called The Sea Story (@theseastory) where water lovers share their inspiring stories ...

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