Everyone's Sea Swimming! Are You? Part Three - The Gloss Magazine

Everyone’s Sea Swimming! Are You? Part Three

MAYBE YOU ARE AN ALL-YEAR-ROUND SEA SWIMMING DEVOTEE OR PERHAPS YOU ARE JUST ABOUT BRACING YOURSELF FOR YOUR FIRST BRAVE DIP OF THE YEAR … WHATEVER YOUR SWIM HABITS, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU …

Several sea worshippers – both regular and seasonal – live at The Gloss and keenly share the message of deep sea vitality! As a result, we embrace and endorse sea swimming for its plentiful health benefits and social elements – but now, we want to know what draws others to the waves. Let us know.

Tell us in however many words you like, why you love to swim in the sea, as well as where you love to swim – have you got a favourite spot to dip in and out of? Do you gather with friends for a daily or weekly ritual? Did you pick up the habit during lockdown and have found yourself drawn to the waves ever since? Send in your entries to [email protected] with a picture of you or your favourite swim spot – selected entries will be published on thegloss.ie and associated social media channels over the coming weeks. We look forward to hearing your sea swimming stories …

Main illustration by Neasa Tierney (shop Neasa’s work here).

Guy O’Leary

I swim a mile each day during the month of May in aid of Cancer Research. Each day, a group of supporters brave the Irish Sea to swim one mile with me and help to raise funds. I started the challenge after recovering from stage four cancer in 2019. So far we have raised enough to fund seven years of PhD cancer research. I kicked off the 2022 challenge on the first of May (with my wife Aoife joining me for the first mile) from the Martello Tower to Seapoint. 200 people will be joining me for a mile this year! We will be supporting John Crown’s Cancer Clinical Research Trust this year with all funds going toward curing cancer.

Follow Guy on Instagram @guy.oleary

Afric Marren, Owner, Vico Robes

As a child I was always the last to get into the water, a situation that only got worse as I got older and developed Raynauds. However, during the first lockdown I felt inspired by my family and friends to join them on their swims. I set myself small challenges with the aim of overcoming my inhibitions, and before I knew it, I was a year-round swimmer, totally hooked. Gone were the feelings of cold, raw panic, and anxiety. Even my Raynauds improved!

Not only have I been enjoying the physical benefits of sea swimming, but this new hobby also gave me an opportunity to do something creative. As swimming became  more and more prominent in my life,  I noted the importance of keeping warm before and after, particularly during the winter months. However, I found it challenging to find the gear that would keep me warm while staying in style! With lockdown in full force, I decided to indulge a long-held desire to develop and sell my own product online. And so, Vico Robes—named after Vico Road, home of some of my favourite swim spots—was born and, one year later, I have an online store selling Dry Changing Robes, Towel Robes, and Dry Bags.

Having started the journey of sea swimming two years ago, going for a swim is almost a daily ritual for me now. Weather permitting, a typical day starts with a walk to the beach accompanied by our dog Daisy, followed by a few minutes swimming towards the rising sun, some ball throwing on the beach, the climb back up to the road, and finally a well-earned cup of coffee and croissant. I can’t think of a better start to the day!

Every morning brings a different sea, different sky and a different swim experience. Whether it’s a stunning sunrise or storm clouds on the horizon it’s a zen moment and a great feeling of being connected to nature. The physical effects are immediate and long lasting. As for the mental effects, the following words inspired by naturalist John Muir,  resonate…

“Into the sea I go, to ease my mind and soothe my soul!”

www.vicorobes.com  @vico_robe

Aoife McNamara, fashion designer

For me, I was drawn to the water and to the sea from a young age. As a young girl, I began pool swimming and taking part in races with a local club. To this day, swimming is still a big part of my daily training and wellness routine. 

As an adult, I found my “why” again through reconnecting with the environment and the sea in particular. In fact, the wild beauty of Ireland’s land and seascapes and the desire to protect our natural world are massive sources of inspiration for me when designing for my label, Aoife Mc Namara. 

In addition to this, in recent years, sea swimming has been my therapy. Cold water really has this transformational power over me. It helps me to navigate through the daily stresses of running my own business. I can’t explain the feeling but I just know I never regret a cold water swim, no matter the temperature. The cold water always brings me into the present moment and allows me to remember what’s important. 

My favourite swim spots would definitely be along the west coast of Clare, where I live. There are a few hidden gems along the west coast, Clahane and Fanore beach being two of my favourites;  www.aoifemcnamara.com 

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