The weather has been unusually hot, so I decided to go swimming in Carbeth Loch.

You may remember that I wrote a couple of years ago about how hard it was for me to, um, take the plunge and begin swimming in a pool again. Since then, I’ve done a lot of pool swimming and it has helped me enormously. But it’s also been a bit difficult at times. Because of my lack of balance, my body can veer off course in a way that makes pool swimming tricky, unless one has a very understanding lane partner (which for a time I found, in a lovely local elderly man). But it can be a bit tiring having to introduce one’s disabilities to every person one encounters at a pool, and I have also met with a certain lack of understanding among pool staff, and particularly among some parents, who don’t understand that it’s not a great idea for kids to be nipping in and out of a lane in which I happen to be trying to swim crawl (freestyle). I timed pool visits during quiet periods . . . I avoided school holidays . . . but I am sorry to say that a few months ago these exchanges put me first off trying to improve my crawl . . . and then finally off the pool itself – and the upshot is that I’ve not been swimming for a while.

Since then it has been in the back of my mind to try fresh water swimming – and I’m really glad I did – because it feels amazing.

Tom made a short film.

These two and a half minutes involved two separate swims, and three different cameras. Thanks, Tom.

When I look at Tom’s footage, I can see just how significantly the past two years of swimming have helped me. On a general everyday level, in my post-stroke body I feel uncomfortable pretty much all of the time. I’m continually aware of being lopsided, of my left side moving hesitantly or behaving unpredictably, of the feeling that my brain is continually ‘working’ to keep my left arm and leg operating in tandem with my right. Simply being in my body feels effortful, and I am always aware of the unbalance between my left and right sides even when I’m just sitting still. In a very basic way, I often feel it is impossible to simply relax in my own skin. But in the water, my body is supported. In the water, the movement of my stroke-affected limbs feels much more natural and, though I am still aware of the weakness of my left side in comparison to my right, I have a much greater sensation of balance than I do when I’m walking, for example. Swimming means my limbs can move at what seems like speed to me, and with something that feels like ease – a simple sensation which I very rarely feel (and whose absence has been one of the hardest things for my body to deal with in the 8 years since my stroke). Swimming has helped my bilateral movement, my balance, and it has clearly helped with my body’s strength as well. In the water I just feel physically capable. On land I rarely have that feeling.

So, if you’ve had a stroke, I would heartily recommend experimenting with swimming as an exercise (as and when you have enough energy to try it). Swimming has not improved the unpredictable spasticity of my stroke-affected limbs, nor their inability to operate in ‘extreme’ situations of stress or cold, but it has helped enormously with their strength, balance, and co-ordination.

Well, if I’m going to do more open-water swimming in Scotland I think I’ll probably need a wet suit. I’ve never worn one. Any advice or recommendations would be gratefully received.

79 thoughts on “Swimming in Carbeth Loch

  1. Hi Kate, I broke my arm & have it in a cast right now, so no swimming for me at the moment. But ordinarily I swim in San Francisco bay with a lovely group of swimmers in all but the coldest months. you will be most comfortable in a wetsuit made for swimmers, as opposed to divers or surfers. Mine is made by Huub–I like it fine. Orca suits also seem quite popular. Most brands make an entry level, middle grade, and super fancy suit–you’ll have to be guided by your comfort & budget. one thing to remember is that a properly fitted wetsuit feels uncomfortably tight before you get into the water and can be a real workout to get into. Putting a plastic bag over hands and feet helps get them through sleeves & legs with less struggle & less risk of puncturing your suit. And you must have a dry lubricant (e.g., body glide is the one we all use). Use it liberally it at all the friction points, especially all around your neck; it will save you all kinds of grief from chafing. If you can try suits on at a store with knowledgeable staff that’s best, as they can help you a lot with fit advice. Good luck to you, and if you ever come to San Francisco google “swim with Pedro” and come join us!

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  2. Last year I bought a wetsuit for swimming in the ocean off the coast of Maine. It took me 2 tries to get a good fit. Here are some suggestions:
    1) Decide what thickness suit you want (thicker = warmer). In part this is going to be based on what time of year you swim, water temperatures, and your comfort (personal body temp., etc.). You can ask around for advice on this point.
    2) Try to find a reputable shop with knowledgeable staff to get help with sizing. I found the sizing runs small and tight so I had to go up a size. Also, you have a choice between a zipper up the back or up the front; I think this is a matter of personal preference and what feels easiest for you. But it might modify fit in key ways for you.
    3) Getting into and out of a wetsuit is a bit like squeezing into and out of a full-body girdle. You will probably want to do this in private.
    4) When trying wetsuits on for size, I found it worthwhile to pay attention to the fit across the shoulders. One that is too small compresses or contracts shoulders and I find this is not comfortable for swimming.
    5) Toe- (& finger-) nails can puncture neoprene. One piece of advice I read was to wear socks when putting on a suit. So I do.
    6) I found some good advice on caring for a wetsuit (same place I found the tip about wearing socks to get into a wetsuit): always rinse, inside and out, especially after being in salt water; hang to dry over a hanger (don’t hang the suit on a hanger, which puts stress on the shoulders, but drape the waist over a hanger – I use a thick plastic one to support the weight); dry inside and out, especially before putting away for a while.
    Good luck!

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  3. Thank you Kate, I love open water swimming too. I recently bought a swimming wetuit from Alpkit (someone mentioned them). It is brilliant, but the sizing is tiny (I’m a small and I had to get a large). I got a refurbished one from them at a fraction of the new-suit price. I have found a swimming wetsuit much, much better than a surfing one I had before as the buoyancy is adjusted for swimmers – before I bobbed about on the water like a cork. I also bought a Speedo Fastskin wetsuit for my sister, which she really loves, and is very comfy around the neck – a problematic area for wetsuits. Try before you buy if you can – they are all quite different. Good luck and many happy days of swimming.

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  4. You look perfectly balanced – both in your swimming and your walking! You have obviously worked incredibly hard and I would never have guessed that you’ve had a stroke or have issues with your left side. You should be incredibly proud of all you achieve – so inspirational on so many different levels!
    Beautiful film!

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  5. You are such an inspiration to all, able bodies or not.
    Your West Highland Way club, newsletters, book, regular postings about the gorgeous area you live and work and play in, all inspired me to hike the WHW this past June. I walked past Carbeth Loch, and was delighted and thrilled to be walking and participating in your landscape.
    Thank you for your heartfelt sharing of your life with us all!

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  6. Wild swimming, and open air swimming is so good. I really need to get a wetsuit too. Reading for info. Keep at it Kate.

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  7. Me encantó el paisaje! Y me encantó verte nadar! Qué lugar maravilloso para hacerlo! Espero que lo disfrutes mucho.
    La historia, la película, buenísimas. No hace mucho que me conecté a tu página. Ahora soy fan.
    Muchos cariños desde Argentina.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear Kate,

    Thanks for being an inspiration to us all.

    I am not sure I can add much to the debate about wet suits. I am able bodied and used to surf, but for what it is worth, a summer surfing wet suit is not difficult to swim in. I have one which is 2mm thick in the body and 1mm think on the arms and legs and I don’t have difficulty swimming in it. However, if you do go down this route, I suggest wearing a rash vest underneath the suit. Maybe the challenge you will have is getting in and out of a wet suit. If I struggle, you may do too.

    Perhaps it is worth traveling to one of the surfing spots near where you live which hire out wet suits and give one a go. I recommend going fairly early in the morning to see if you can get a dry one (putting on a wet wet suit is not pleasant) and then going for a swim in the sea (assuming it is a calm day).

    Another alternative is a rash vest (or rash guard) to wear over your swimmers. I have a titanium rash vest and a fleecy lined one as well. They are surprisingly warm and naturally, more flexible than a wet suit. Given you are swimming in a bathing costume at the moment when the water is still cold, maybe this is a good option to start with.

    I have never worn a triathlon swim suit to can’t compare.

    It is such a shame that your local pool is causing problems. I would hazard that the people who work there are not paid enough to care. But you are a good educator, so perhaps take that approach.

    Best,

    Fiona.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You get specific swimming wetsuits. I’d recommend looking at those.
    Here’s a decent review of different ones for outdoor swimming: https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/great-wetsuit-test/

    Some of the reay expensive ones are for triathlons for how quick they come off etc. Wiggle is a great website for ordering a bunch to try on then send the ones you don’t want back. Ones with the least amount of seams are the most comfortable and flexible.
    You might want some wetsuit boots for wearing whilst you swim. You can get thermal wetsuit socks too- try Wetsuit Outlet for that stuff. They do great deals.
    Also,talcum powder is your friend if you struggle to get it on. And baby bottle steriliser is the best to clean wetsuits with (in the bath) – it gets rid of any smells etc.

    So glad you’ve found swimming helpful and you’re getting more confident.lo g may it continue.

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  10. This has brought a smile to my face from the beginning to the end of the video. Such a pleasure watching you, seeing the beautiful land and water. Bravo to you and Tom! Thank you for sharing your journey and challenges.

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  11. Hi Kate
    I also live in Scotland, miles from the nearest place you could try on swimming wetsuits. I bought half a dozen from a website (wiggle I think) and tried them all on at home and then I could choose which was the best fit. They do feel different in the water, but I think you can get a good idea of how comfortable one would be for you trying them on on dry land, especially if you have a few to compare with each other. They feel very different to each other. You need room to rotate your shoulders, and I found the shoulder to crotch length critical for comfort. For extending the swimming season I have found neoprene socks and swimming gloves really helpful. Brand-wise, I think my suit is a zone3, and the tri club my kids swim with recommend huub.

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  12. I think, as others have said, that a triathalon wetsuit might be the go for you- a normal wetsuit for use in the sea, for surfing etc., can be a bit too sturdy, even the summer weight ones, although I do use my summer suit for snorkelling in the Cornish seas as well as surfing.

    The issue with dealing with ‘the public’ and their general lack of either understanding or ease with difference is interesting (and frustrating)- I grew up in a village in Surrey with a Holiday Home for the Disabled (capitalisation theirs, not mine), which had a heated swimming pool for the residents. All the kids in the village learnt to swim there, over decades and decades, having time in the pool on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and kids mingling with the kids and adults staying there- they had amazing gardens as well, which I loved playing in, and it was only a 1/4 mile down the road from our house, so I could go there and nip through the shrubbery to have a play whenever I wanted (it was the 70s, after all). A lot of villagers volunteered there too, including my mum, so my brother and myself were there frequently, running around the lawns and playing croquet, and probably making a nuisance of ourselves. However, as a positive, what that experience settled deep in to me, even as a little kid, was an understanding and acceptance of difference of any sort, which has stayed with me.

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  13. Bravo Kate Great idea to swim in the freshwater. You look terrific, frankly like a very adept swimmer. And having fun!. Loved the drone shots. and there was Bruce – what a sweet boy. Tom’s film and your swims bring a great smile to my face.
    Swim on and enjoy.

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    1. ps. I love non-pool swimming- though I do mostly go sea swimming (I’m about 4 miles from the south coast)- we do have some really lovely lidos down here as well, Plymouth (2 lidos) and Penzance, though I think I need to try some of the Dartmoor rivers, which are very popular in hot summers. Carbeth Loch sounds and looks like an amazing resource, and how wonderful to have the weather to enjoy your first swims in it.

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  14. Our school for kids with disabilities takes them swimming weekly. Some of them are VERY physically disabled but the water gives them the chance to be weightless, to stretch out and to relax muscles fatigued with constant contraction. Truly a joyful experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your swimming is awesome Kate! Recommendations for wetsuit brands would be Orca, Blue Seventy and Sailfish. Two and a half years ago I suffered a serious brain and spinal injury and like you, live with it every day, never not aware of its presence. Part of my rehab was hydrotherapy and even with limited movement at the time, being in the water enabled me to move bits that were normally quite stubborn! I’ll never have that swimming confidence so I’ll just be in awe instead!

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  16. You are such an inspiration Kate! You look beautiful swimming in the Loch. I didnt know you had had a stroke. As a swimmer I only see perfect balance! I can relate to the pool situation. Well done. And beautiful photography.

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  17. Kate you certainly haven’t lost a lovely breast stroke style , to watch you it did seem effortless, though I do know that wouldn’t have been the case. Also I think you were so brave to do it in open water, you seemed quite away from the bank.

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  18. What a beautiful film and yes, as others have said, you look totally graceful and beautiful as you swim! I was just saying to my dear husband today that there is always something to be grateful for. I have in the past been forever embarassed by having big legs but now I am so grateful that they are strong and whole and so useful. But I do relate to the feeling of being off balance and ungraceful in my body a bit. You explain yourself so beautifully!

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  19. You are amazing. By looking at you or watching you swim, I would never know that you have had a stroke. The way you feel inside your body is not how I see or perceive you. Your intelligence and perseverance inspire me. (Not to mention your knitwear designs — you are one of my two favorite designers.) Lastly, you are beyond fortunate to have Tom in your life!

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  20. …spotted…a new variety of swan on Loch Carbeth….I crown this swan ‘Carbeth Kate’. Such elegance!!! I envy your abilities in the water. I continue to strive to be able to do the front crawl this way. Public pool issues resonate with me as well…we now have a new rule, the guards let in family swim during our coveted lane swimming and put a rope up for 2-8 of us to share one lane, whilst the remainder of the pool is allotted to the youngsters; who always complain that we are taking up too big a spot and lift the ropes and wander into our lane…hard to avoid smucking into a wee one when you are doing the back stroke!!!
    A crushed wrist over 10yrs ago, had me in the pool to alleviate frozen shoulder. I am a Cosmetologist and couldn’t lift my arm past my waist…2 wks of doggy paddle(only thing I could manage at the time) had my arm above my head to the genuine surprise of phyiotherapists. During a consultation with an Orthopedic Surgeon, I was told swimming was the best overall therapy for anyone with bone/soft tissue injuries. He told me to never stop, as it was low gravity with the water pressure providing the workout as the body moved.
    So enjoy the beautiful photography!!! Thank you both for the continuing inspirations!

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  21. Thanks for this inspirational post, Kate. Your swimming is graceful and appears so effortless. Congratulations on finding another way to move and push your boundaries as you challenge your body to be better.

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  22. So sorry to hear about your experiences in the pool.

    Regarding a wetsuit: In my experience, different brands do feel very different, both in comfort and in the amount of support they give you in the water. My first experience with a wetsuit was very uncomfortable because it was very tight on the neck and gave me too much support; I couldnˋt feel the water. Later, I tried other models and was surprised how big the gap was between totally uncomfortable and really awesome (and thatˋs different for each person, of course). Therefore, I strongly recommend, if possible, to try different brands and models in the water (they also feel differnt in the water than on land). In Germany, each year all the major wet suit companys do a tour of some swimming pools, and you can go there and try out differnt wet suits in the pool. Donˋt know if there is such a thing in Scotland (it may be advertised as wetsuits for triathletes, but everyone can go there).
    Your breaststroke seems quite strong (and very elegant!). Most wet suits are designed for crawl, so they will force your legs upwards for a better crawl position. I tried breaststroke with a wetsuit, and it felt very uncomfortable because the wetsuit forced my legs up all the time (hard to explain). So, if you canˋt test the wetsuit in the water before buying one, I recommend to mention that youˋre giong to swim breaststroke. My guess is that you need therefore a model with little leg support.

    Wish you a nice sumer with a lot of outdoor swimming!

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  23. I wanted to speak out and say how very much I admire your love for ALL things nature in your area of the world. You fully utilize the seasons and what they bring. Many of us escape to shopping malls, theaters, technology and miss all the beauty in our own backyard.

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  24. Brave AND Bravo! I have this thing about creepy crawlies in lakes ever since I swam in one in Wisconsin years ago and got bit by ???

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  25. “In the water I just feel physically capable. On land I rarely have that feeling.”
    I have expressed that sentiment to people, especially medics, so many times. And I saw this post and the video, just after I’d got home from swimming. I have neurological problems caused by damage to my spine and spinal cord, and swimming keeps me fit in body and mind. Pleased to say my local pool is great. Doing Alexander Technique changed my approach to swimming, ie relax, focus on the moment and tune into your body. Looks like you are really going to enjoy open water swimming.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Loved your swim Kate! I am a swimmer of 60 plus years. My father started me swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. I have swam through many happy moments in my life and have shed many tragic tears in the waters of pools, oceans and lakes. Swimming allows one to breathe, move through aches and pains of the body and most importantly it’s kin to knitting. It gives you the freedom of solitude, silences the mind and relaxes the soul. Your video is extraordinary as you are💕

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh Kate!
    I was so excited to see you loch swimming that straight away, as soon as I started watching it, I had to share the video with my husband. I go lake swimming at sunrise several days a week & there can be no better way to start the day than a “wild” swim! I can’t advise on a wetsuit because I have never worn one. The struggling in/out of a wetsuit doesn’t appeal to me, but we certainly don’t get snow anywhere near what you showed us this past winter!!!
    Happy, lovely, luscious, joyful swimming!
    🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Your breast stroke is so strong and seemingly effortless–your hard work has paid off. The short film is a wonder, turning a family video into a work of art.

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  29. I love to swim — with my MS, it is one of the few aerobic exercises I can pursue without worrying about overheating. But I hate swimming in lakes (or lochs!) — I like to see what’s underneath me! (I am fine with ocean swimming, but dark waters are not to my liking.) I know what you mean about feeling that you have to work to control your weaker side, but at least in your arm movements, that weakness isn’t noticeable at all. I see a bit of slower reflex on your frog kick, but plenty of able-bodied people don’t do that well, either.

    Glad you found a place to enjoy a respite of weightlessness. Thanks for sharing – it made me feel cooler just watching!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Wild swimming is the best! For a wetsuit I recommend to get one with a decent amount of elasticity. Otherwise they are a pain to put on and take off. I only know the ones used for kitesurfing so cannot make a recommendation for swimming. I hope you find one you like soon and can continue swimming outdoors even when the weather returns to being more typically British.

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  31. Swimming is such a challenging aerobic exercise.
    You were swimming so far out in the loch; clearly,
    You have achieved SO much to be able to do this.
    I hope you tell your story to other stroke survivors
    to encourage them. This and your successful fiber
    career – why are you not on the Honours List?

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Since I had my L knee replaced it has thrown off what little confidence I had in the water. My kicking makes me feel I am turning in circles. Our lane swim times in pools do not allow young children and are divided into three sections: fast, medium and slow. I choose slow but find fast swimmers are always coming in since it is often emptier. They swim right over the slow swimmers then yell at us for being in the way. The guards don’t do alot about it. So I use a flutter board or a snake float and have no problem kicking out at the rude swimmer. But it does keep me away from the public pools. There is still a huge portion of the public who feel people with disabilities don’t belong in regular facilities. I am happy to tear a strip off of them too. I joined the YM/YWCA but find little time to get there. Still, swimming is the perfect exercise for arthritis and so many other issues. In two weeks I can get tone in my arms that might take months in a gym using weights. Keep going.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. After I had my L knee replaced I was told my the surgeon and the physio that I could swim but not to do the breaststroke because of the kicking motion. This makes things difficult because I can’t do freestyle. Were you advised that you could do breastroke?

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  33. Dear Kate,
    Your moved so gracefully through the water. Glad you have found another way to buoy up your self, body and spirit. May we all continue to search and recognize all the different opportunities to help us move with grace and determination, our own water , when the travel on land is challenging.
    In search of mermaids, and trying to find the one within myself,
    Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  34. You look so graceful! I can’t swim like that, and I have no impairments (except lack of practice swimming, I suppose, if you wanted to be generous). And now I’m wondering what fish and dragonflies and frogs you’re seeing in the water.

    I bet Bruce could have told you that swimming in lochs is marvelous.

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  35. Kate, your breast stroke is amazingly professional & something I have never been able to coordinate myself & I have no limitations. Next we will be hearing you are going in for professional swimming for your next career. It seems that everything you try you succeed at. Congratulations on overcoming your uncertainty about open-water swimming. Maybe now Bruce can teach you his outstanding dog-paddle?

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  36. I was recently diagnosed with Early Onset Altzheimers and your posts about learnings about how to live with your stroke have helped me immensely. I have been drawn to your designs for years and even got your autograph on a book. I never thought I would join the ranks of those with brain impairments. You give me hope and help me think of new ways to look at my diagnosis. I would love for you to come to Bentonville /Rogers to our local yarn shop Mockingbird Moon. They have been so supportive of me since my diagnosis and I know that knitting will be good for me. Thanks for your honesty and positive outlook. It helps me so much!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Oh I loved the video! You are braver than me in the deep water. Having grown up near the beach I swam in the surf all the time, and I then as a young adult I saw Jaws. Haven’t felt comfortable in water where I can’t see the bottom since. lol Well done and you are a strong beautiful swimmer, keep it up!

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  38. If you get a chance to try a good aqua aerobics class I would thoroughly recommend it. A bigger range of mindful movement in the water whilst still experiencing the buoyancy and feeling of grace.

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  39. What a lovely video. My outdoor swimming experiences are restricted to a yearly visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but I had the chance to swim in a lake in Maine and your video reminded me of it – a lovely experience. Thanks for posting.

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  40. Beautiful film. Lovely to see you and Bruce swimming . Water is a wonderful therapy and the whole Loch to yourselves. Perfect. I’m sure you felt really good afterwards. Keep it up. 💐

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Swimming in public pools is always a bit hit and miss! But loch swimming is so much more thrilling and Bruce can come too! He seems to wag his tail as he swims! My son-in-law is a triathlon competitor, and he has something he calls a dry suit which covers his main body and tops of legs, might be worth half a thought. It is, I believe, designed for ease in putting on and taking off as the athlete moves between disciplines! Absolutely delightful to watch, lyrical, thank you.

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  42. Kate, Thank you for sharing this. I found your descriptions very interesting. I appreciate being let into your world and experience of living in your post- stroke body. I hope you will enjoy a great deal of lake swimming.

    I am currently visiting our family “cottage” (in some parts of Canada this is how we refer to our cabins on a lake). I grew up lake swimming and I will definitely be in the lake today as we are anticipating 36 C weather. I noticed immediately that we happen to have the same bathing suit! I will undoubtedly think of you while swimming.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Kate, you look graceful in the water in this film, and your description of the contrast of your physical struggles with the ease you find in swimming makes the grace appreciable.

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  44. Hi Kate!
    You all look like you’re having immense fun and why not! It’s a great time to take advantage of swimming in the wild, especially given the amazing weather we’re enjoying across the UK.

    I share your frustrations with public swimming baths. I used to catch a 06:30 train to go swimming & avoid the hassle of crowds. Sadly the venue has now closed and lots of leisure centres now only have ‘fun pools’ so no good for swimming.

    Looking forward to receiving ‘Handywoman’.

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  45. I’m so happy for you that you found a way to start swimming again! And I’m really sorry about the indoor pool situation; being a regular swimmer myself I often wish for my fellow swimmers to show more consideration for each other.
    Have fun swimming and bravo for never stopping trying new things! =)

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  46. In the late 80s I suffered a neck injury which caused severe vertigo. Floating on a raft (rubber), was the only times I felt as if I wasn’t fighting gravity. The raft supported every inch of my body, I could truly relax. Water therapy is amazing. So glad you are able to enjoy!!

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  47. Hi Kate,
    That looked really lovely!
    How lucky you are to have such a beautiful place to swim.
    On the subject of wetsuits, you may find there are more benefits than just keeping you warm. I have taught children with special needs for years, and many of them have benefitted from wearing “skins” for at least some of their day. They were custom-fitted pressure suits that provided postural support as well as proprioceptive feedback, and were mainly used by children with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities, but autistic kids loved wetsuits for the deep pressure they provided. So it could be an interesting experience to try one!

    Helen

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Hi! Reader, knitter, Australian swimmer (always in a wetsuit because I live in the south part where the water comes straight from the Antarctic). Very very tight is good. It’s easier to get your legs into a wetsuit if you put your feet into a plastic bag and then they slide through easily. If you find it ridiculously hard to get out of your wetsuit – it’s not just you! But worth it -so much warmer. Reds Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Beautiful and very interesting post, thank you! And the film is truly amazing; it carries a touch of the old super 8 films from the 60s/70s in the way it is shot (except for the use of the drone) and in its colours.

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  50. There’s a group of us swimming in open water all round this area, from south of Glasgow to the Trossachs – The Wild West Swimmers. We coordinate swims on the dreaded FB, and there’s someone swimming locally most days. Members are also a great source of info on kit and locations. For a wetsuit, try Lomo in Glasgow. They’re really helpful. Another thing that’s indespensible is a tow float. Great for visibility, and it will support you if you want a break or get into trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

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