00:00:02 - 00:00:47
Hannah: Welcome to Happily Ever After, the podcast where we talk about life's big stories, from break-ups and breakdowns to icky secrets and happy endings. It's the stuff that makes us human. I'm your host, Hannah Harvey. I'm a writer and a parenting blogger at Mumsdays.Com. I'd be really grateful if you could subscribe and leave a review, because it basically means more people can find the podcast. And I also absolutely love hearing from you, so please do contact me through Instagram @MumsDays, MUMSDAYS with any of your stories and any thoughts you might have on the episode or any questions. You can find all the details from this episode in the show notes.
00:00:49 - 00:01:11
Hannah: Hello and welcome to Happily Ever After with me, Hannah. And today I'm joined by Anna and Vicky, who I interviewed about a good month and a half ago now on the beach in King Edward's Bay. And it was to celebrate the launch of your amazing book, The Ripple Effect.
00:01:11 - 00:01:17
Vicky: Yeah. And what a morning that was, wasn't it? It was quite an exciting morning.
00:01:18 - 00:01:34
Hannah: Yeah, it was incredible. I'm trying to think the. It was before Storm Babette so we can't blame her. But it was a very, very wavy. And it was the.
00:01:34 - 00:01:36
Vicky: Yeah. And so many people.
00:01:37 - 00:01:41
Hannah: So many people. We all try to get in sea and got kicked out.
00:01:44 - 00:01:54
Vicky: I just remember colliding with other people as I was thrown through the waves. That's a way of getting to know someone, just get thrown at them by a big wave.
00:01:55 - 00:02:18
Hannah: I know, and all your bits like falling out. Don't mind me. But yes. So we basically had a lovely chat on the beach and we were talking about your new book. And for me, obviously I'm quite- I was quite new to getting in the sea, but for you guys you're doing it for quite some time now.
00:02:21 - 00:02:48
Vicky: Yeah, we've been doing it. I mean, obviously, I think, you know, a lot of us swimmers have kind of been doing it all our lives in a way. It's like, you know, if you remember those times, swimming as kids when it was just sort of the normal thing just to get in there in, in the cold sea and not really think anything about it. I mean, I know you, Anna, um, you, you, you grew up swimming in lochs and.
00:02:48 - 00:03:12
Anna: Yeah I grew up pottering in and out of the locks up in Scotland and, um, you know, just had a real love for being around the water. So, um, but it was only really when I moved to Edinburgh about nearly eight years ago now. And I live near the sea that I could start going swimming properly and regularly. Um, so that's what I've been doing ever since.
00:03:13 - 00:03:47
Hannah: Mm. When I was growing up, I was always getting in water. My parents would be like, if there was a puddle, I'd be stripping off and getting in. And then there's this whole period. I guess it would be maybe... When I became a grown up, when I just never got in the water, despite living by the beach for 10-15 years. Why is that?
00:03:48 - 00:04:05
Vicky: I know all there's that thing where you sit on the beach while your kids go in. Your kids are paddling in the in the waves, and you're kind of watching over them and you're not actually getting in the water yourself. It's like you're not meant to be doing that kind of childlike thing of, you know, splashing around.
00:04:07 - 00:04:14
Hannah: There was a thing around, like not wanting to be cold. Like, oh, it's too cold for me now. Yeah.
00:04:18 - 00:04:20
Vicky: Yeah. Go on. Anna, what were you going to say?
00:04:20 - 00:04:25
Anna: Oh, sorry. We've got a weird delay, so I'm not sure if this is about just. Sorry.
00:04:26 - 00:04:27
Anna: Carry on Vick.
00:04:27 - 00:05:03
Vicky: Um, I was just thinking that in my sort of early 30s, round about the time that I had my kids as babies, that I. I did get it into my head that the water was too cold for me and I bought I didn't buy a wetsuit. I think my mum gave me one that she's got in a charity shop, and I became convinced that, um, that, uh, you know, that's what I needed and, you know, which was sort of and I kind of knew that was wrong. You know, I remember at the time thinking, what? What's wrong with me? Why have I gone this way of thinking that I can't just get in that cold water?
00:05:07 - 00:05:12
Hannah: Do you have any experience in this Anna? Or did you just keep swimming throughout?
00:05:12 - 00:06:45
Anna: Oh, definitely. Yeah. I mean, I think I always remember even in swimming pools, you know, I'd go to the swimming pool with my kids and they would be like, mum, you never come in the pool anymore, you know, why don't you come in the pool? And I realised that I was just feeling really like, um, kind of body conscious and not wanting to go in the pool and just, I think as well realising that, like with swimming pools and the thought of swimming, um, I felt quite stressed out by the idea of swimming pools and the smell and the echoing and realising that I actually find the environment of a pool quite, um, unpleasant. Like, I really just don't like being in swimming pools. And I think because I was living in London for many years, the swimming pool was where you would go to swim. Um, and then I would go and visit my parents in, in Scotland and, you know, sort of potter about in the water. But I definitely wasn't swimming. It was more just like playing around with the kids or something. But, um, you know, moving back here and being near the sea and being able to actually go swimming in the sea was, was a real lovely change. And then I think that feeling of not feeling embarrassed of my body in the same way that I did in a swimming pool, if that makes sense, and then enjoying being under the sky and in nature, as opposed to being in this kind of loud, echoey room and the smell of chlorine and all of those things that would make me feel a bit put off swimming, if that makes sense.
00:06:45 - 00:07:09
Hannah: Yes, I think that's summed up exactly how I was feeling about it. There's something about the lights and the attention and. You're not really moving because you're looking after a child. Or watching them jump in. I've done many hours of catching a child, jumping at me and getting really cold.
00:07:09 - 00:08:00
Anna: Yeah, definitely. It's quite. I think you have to sort of change and adapt as you have children and, you know, you kind of leave a part of yourself behind when you become a mother. And I think for so many people like getting into outdoor swimming, it's been a kind of reclaiming of that. Um, you know, because most people I know will go swimming without their. Like outdoor swimming without their kids. So it's almost like you kind of just doing it for yourself. You're not necessarily like watching, you know, having to dry them and keep them safe. You're just going yourself. And it's like a way of just doing something kind of that's, you know, going back to that time before you had kids and you had all that responsibility. It's quite a lovely feeling to be able to reconnect with that part of yourself, I think.
00:08:01 - 00:08:15
Hannah: So there's been a huge explosion in the popularity of. Not just sea swimming, but cold water therapy. Um. What do you think kind of brought that about?
00:08:19 - 00:09:56
Vicky: Should I, shall I say? I mean, I mean, obviously. I mean, there's two different things you're talking about there, and maybe there's slightly different reasons for each of them. But the swimming thing, I mean, definitely, we talk a lot about the fact that it was Covid and people needing to, you know, finding themselves a bit trapped. And, you know, if they did have water that they had access to, not everyone did. This was one of the places in which they could kind of escape. And at the same time, you know, people found this enormous connection with nature around about then. So I think swimming, the rise of swimming definitely connects with Covid. And it was already rising. But you know, that happened during that time. And it you know, in the book we've kind of also charted all the different sort of support groups and how people found support in that. But cold water stuff, I think that is partly because, first of all, people tried it and found that they did get something out of the cold water thing, but it's also because people have been talking about it and how good it is. So we've got Wim Hof, we've got all these different people saying, you know, have a cold shower, get in a cold water tub, getting any kind of cold water and get that cold water shock and, and all that kind of stuff that goes on with the dive reflex and the vagus nerve. People are talking about all these things. So I think that is also one of the things that has driven that.
00:09:57 - 00:09:58
Hannah: It's trending.
00:09:59 - 00:09:59
00:10:03 - 00:10:41
Hannah: I love the fact that you cover so many different communities, like different reasons that people have come together. Um, so it might be, say, an addiction group, or it might be a group of new mothers. Like there's all these different reasons that people are getting in the scene. But they're still doing it. And some of them are like, it's the best thing ever. It's going to solve all your mental health issues, and then you've got the other side that are like. It's nice, but it's not the only tool.
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00:10:44 - 00:10:47
Hannah: Sorry go on Vicky.
00:10:47 - 00:10:59
Vicky: I'm thinking I was going to say you get other people who just say, you know what? I just go in because it's fun, and I love it. You know who? Who say, you know, forget about whatever anyone says about the benefits. I just have a good time when I do it.
00:11:02 - 00:11:37
Hannah: My experience has been that everybody I've met who gets in the sea has something that they're working on. Like, everybody's got their story that's led them there. And it's almost like I said this to you at the event. It's like the sea finds you. Sometimes when you're in those moments of real searching. We touched on grief, for example. Like think. Vicky, you were saying that's partly how you ended up getting into cold water. Is that right?
00:11:38 - 00:13:00
Vicky: Yeah. I mean, definitely there's there's something that happened for me. When- After my brother died, where I was swimming a lot in Ireland and this particular loch. And it was- it really, really helped me. And so even though when I came back from there, it's not like I really started regular, um, wils swimming, it took me a while to do that. It. You know, I had that memory and that feeling that there was something there and, you know, that it was helping me process something and also feel connected to my brother. And, you know, I still have moments of that. And just recently also went for a swim with a really good friend, Briony, who originally was someone that I really started my regular wild swimming with. And she'd gone really. She'd said to me, you know, I really want to go to the sea, go swimming, because her mother had recently passed away and someone had said, you know, take. friend of hers, say, take your salt tears to the sea, almost like you can. The tears mingle with the sea. And, um. And we recently went for another swim after her dad passed away as well. And it's, you know, it's so that's a kind- one form of processing. It's a kind of emotional processing.
00:13:01 - 00:13:06
Hannah: Mhm. Why did you start getting in the sea again, Anna?
00:13:08 - 00:15:20
Anna: Well, like I said, I moved back up to Scotland and so I was able to kind of get in the sea more regularly. And it started off going with my cousin, who lives a bit further down the coast, and we'd just get together and we.. she's an artist and I'm a photographer, so we'd go on these, we still do it, but we struggled to find the time a bit at the moment. But we go on these lovely long kind of nature walks where we just kind of go and we get inspiration from what's around us, and then we always finish with a swim. Um, so that was kind of the beginning of it because, you know, I moved here and I didn't really know that many people. So, you know, she was- she was a real lifeline for me at that time. And swimming was kind of linked into that. But then I realised that that wasn't going to be enough for me. I needed to go to the sea more. So I kind of joined a Facebook group and started going regularly. And so that's sort of how it began. But when I was doing it, I was realising that actually a lot of, um, you know, kind of anxiety and, and stress that I was feeling, um, sort of did dissipate when I was in the water. And, you know, I'd get such a sort of buzz from it and felt like I'd done something amazing with my day, even if really the rest of the day was pretty boring. Um, I just felt like there was a little bit of epic when every time, every time I swum. But also it helped a lot with with things like joint pain, which I'd really struggled with. And at times it's been really debilitating, and I've had to sort of stop work for chunks of time and things like that. So I found that the cold water was really, really helpful in that sense. So, you know, several different reasons really. But, you know, also as a photographer and as a creative person, just going to the water and seeing how different it is every time and watching the birds and being in nature was, you know, really important to me. And the older I get, the realised I'm more, you know, the more I realised how much of a lifeline it is for me being able to get outside into nature. Um, even if it's just very briefly, it's a complete kind of reset button. Yeah.
00:15:20 - 00:16:03
Hannah: Yeah. So after you guys came to the beach, I'd. I was on, like, a 21 week streak of getting in every day. And then there was something about. So the day before you came, I got stuck in a riptide. That freaked me out. And then the day we all went in the sea, it was just. Kicked you straight out again, grazed elbows and was like, oh. I think I might be done. Yeah. So stop getting in. And the result is I now have burnout.
00:16:04 - 00:16:05
Anna: I'm not surprised.
00:16:05 - 00:16:12
Hannah: I'm going. I need a break. And I think partly it's because I stopped doing that reset.
00:16:13 - 00:16:13
00:16:14 - 00:16:24
Hannah: You know, that pilgrimage of going to the sea and having that moment of, like, wonder. There's something bigger than these tiny problems that I have.
00:16:26 - 00:16:28
Vicky: Yeah. And you kind of thought, I don't need that anymore.
00:16:30 - 00:16:30
00:16:31 - 00:16:33
Hannah: I thought, oh, I've learned all the lessons.
00:16:36 - 00:17:51
Anna: I go through phases as well. Hannah. Of swimming a lot and then having phases where I don't swim very much. And I'm definitely in a not swimming very much phase right now because I've just. And I've had to sort of come to terms with that. Life has just been really busy. And, you know, the storm has made the beach really manky. And as much as we clean it up, it gets messy again. And with all the rain we've been having, I've been worried about, you know, what's in the water. And it's just put me into that little headspace of like, oh, I'm out of the water for a time. But I always get back into it, always comes back. It's always there waiting for me when I'm ready, you know? But sometimes it is, I think, quite good to take a break and it makes you realise you know how much you do enjoy it. Um, but if you're kind of forcing yourself to go every day, it does take a bit of the. It takes a bit of the spontaneity and fun out of it, I think. And you know, I've done those challenges not as intense as you, but where I've swum every day for a month or something. And I find that it's too much for me, like I'm completely burnt out by the end of that. So, you know, as much as I love it, I also know that I have to measure myself a little bit with it too.
00:17:52 - 00:18:53
Vicky: Yeah. Also, I think that sometimes you aren't well enough to get in the cold water. You know, recently I went up to Loch Torridon and I was. It was really great because it's a really remote area. The water's beautiful, the weather was amazing, but I had a cold and I was like, I can't not go in. And particularly there was a group called the Diabaig Dippers who were swimming. And I was like, I've got a joy, you know? I just felt like, you know, it was irresistible. And I thought, I'm not going to be back here. When am I going to be back here? And and I got in and honestly, I felt like it wiped me out because I was, you know, I was really properly had a cold, you know, like, sometimes I think, you know, you're just on the verge of something and you just keep going. But I should have listened to that voice, the other voice saying, you know, not today, because that's probably meant that I've swum now, not since then. You know, whereas I might have been more quickly back in the water. Otherwise.
00:18:54 - 00:21:08
Anna: I think the thing was, for me, the thing that I've learnt through doing a lot of this is that every swim you have to be checking in with yourself, and it's why it's such a mindful process. I think. You have to kind of know where you're at, what you're coming to the water with. Like how did you sleep? How have you eaten? Where are you on your cycle? You know, what stress have you got going on? Because I really think those things make a huge difference to how you recover from that cold and how you cope with it. And there are some times you go and you just feel pretty invincible, and you come out feeling amazing. And there are other times where, you know, you think actually. Like when I came to you, actually, when we did the swim with you guys, I just had some really bad news before we did the talk, and I knew that I wasn't up for getting super cold, because I was already feeling kind of a bit of shock and quite cold in that moment. And also, the sea was wild, and I felt like I don't need to be buffeted around any more than I've been buffeted around mentally this morning, you know? Um, and so I think it's really important as well, just in terms of like knowing yourself, you know, knowing what what's good for you and what and actually when to step away. And I think it's quite, you know, like Vicky said, I had a swim with my cousin and I hadn't seen her for ages, and we went to this beautiful spot and it was such a gorgeous beach and nobody there, and I was so looking forward to it. I got up to my knees and I just went. I just don't want to do it. And it was really unusual. And she was like, hey, what? What? And I was like, I. Just, I just it's. Like my body won't let me go in. And I couldn't understand it. And she just thought I was like, well, she was like, well just listen to that, you know, get out. But she did go, like, really? It's so nice in here. Um, and I got out and actually the next day I came down with a really horrible virus. And I think my body knew that this was coming and it would be too much, but I didn't know that yet. So it's like the more you do this, I think the more in your body you get, the more you understand, like what works for you, if that makes sense. Like cold water swimming has brought me into my body. It's made me understand my how I work a lot more.
00:21:09 - 00:21:15
Hannah: Yeah. And having that compassion to say I don't have to do it today.
00:21:15 - 00:21:39
Anna: Yeah. Yeah, I sometimes feel the pressure that people are like, you must be swimming every day, you must love it. And I'm like, no, I don't swim every day. You know, if I swam every day, I would get I might get bored of it. Like, I love it and I love it. It has to, but it has to be at the right time. So I think a lot of people feel pressure to do it more than maybe they need to, I don't know.
00:21:42 - 00:21:59
Hannah: Yeah I think so. There's an element of like, it can be addictive because you get the endorphins. Um. But maybe a bit of competition, a bit of healthy competition in your group. It's like, who can do it the longest? Who's the most serious? Yeah.
00:22:00 - 00:22:41
Vicky: It doesn't even have to be competition as well. Sometimes it's distraction because that's one thing I feel about the group, although like obviously our books totally about groups and our love of groups. Sometimes with a group you're just I mean, I'm quite easily socially distracted to not think about how I am, you know, because I'm having a chat and, you know, like, don't want to leave the chat in the water in that very cold water. And, and so sometimes I think, you know, yes, the group can mean that you you don't it's not necessarily competitive stuff. You just stay with people because it feels good to stay with people.
00:22:42 - 00:22:55
Hannah: Yeah. You ignore actually how you're feeling. So going back to this idea of the groups and the communities, what do you think makes them so powerful?
00:22:57 - 00:24:43
Anna: I think a lot of the groups that we've found are sort of filling. Filling a gap where, you know, we just don't have the sort of society anymore where, you know, we look after each other in the same way that perhaps, you know, even going back 50, 60, 70 years, you'd you'd perhaps be more in a, in a sort of village type environment, whether you're in a city or not, you'd know your neighbours, people would help you out. And I think we're all sort of so used to, you know, looking after ourselves and being quite insular and, you know, living in, you know, away from our families a lot of the time as well. And I think there's something really powerful about being part of a community that look out for each other. And I think a lot of people it's help them. You know, I mean, loneliness is one of the biggest health epidemics in this country. It's quite incredible how, you know, loneliness can actually, you know, shorten your life. Um, there's been some incredible research done about that. And I think, you know, by joining groups and feeling part of something and feeling part of something bigger than yourself, um, looking out for others as well as others looking out for you. It gives you a sense of well-being and a sense of purpose. So I think, you know, a lot of these community groups are doing that for people. But then there's also very specific groups that are sort of helping, for example, with addiction recovery or, you know, men's mental health peer support groups or, you know, new mums kind of, you know, being together or new university students. Um, there's there's almost like a gap in the market that a lot of these swimming groups have, have filled, you know, so I think they're quite, uh, really fulfilling a need that we have in, in society.
00:24:44 - 00:25:52
Vicky: Yeah. And there's probably other ways in which some of those groups are coming together through other activities, like whatever, like the men's Shed movement or whatever, whatever it is. But swimming has been a particularly powerful and growing way of of coming together. And really one of the things that, you know, there's a there's a guy called Mike Morris that we interviewed who's from Chill Therapy, and he's part of a kind of program of supporting particularly, um, in fact, he created this program for supporting people with depression going into water. And he has this whole kind of theory about how how enormous- we're kind of going through a cold shock together and how enormously bonding that is, and that, you know, to go through something physical together is bonding in a different way from, say, I don't know, you know, just I mean, maybe, you know, I mean, obviously going for a drink and getting very drunk together can be really bonding another way, but, um, but, you know, he's. Yes. He's kind of saying, you know, it's a bit.
00:26:07 - 00:26:33
Hannah: Yeah, like you're going through something that's quite. It's a shock getting into cold water like. And so you're doing that as a group. And then you're also co regulating as you get used to the water which releases a load of chemicals and makes you all like oh and did this with you, which means that we're now our friendships on steroids.
00:26:35 - 00:27:06
Anna: Definitely. And the chats you have in the water, it's like, you know what they say in the water stays in the water kind of thing. And it's, you know, it's so true. You have these real deep and meaningful chats often with people that you otherwise don't really know that well. I mean, I've certainly had some incredible chats with people I'd have never met otherwise. And it's a, it's a lovely, um, it's a lovely way to kind of really connect with people. It's a lovely medium to do it through.
00:27:07 - 00:27:11
Hannah: Exactly. What do you think is the biggest threat to these communities?
00:27:14 - 00:28:25
Vicky: The biggest threat. Yes. I mean, I think you mentioned that when we we spoke before and I mean, I guess like there's various issues with the communities. I think one of the things is that obviously, I mean, Anna will talk quite a bit about the fact that, um, before Covid, um, there were there was, you know, or during Covid, sorry, during early Covid, some of the groups were felt really big and bonded and like they were quite central on the beach. But now so many people are coming. The the communities are sort of splintering a bit, which I think is what happens when you get a really big community. So it's not always- we have got groups in the book that are one big mass, but actually it seems like a lot of the nature of how communities are becoming is that there's smaller groups, little WhatsApp groups and things like that. They're a bit less easy to discover. I mean, obviously something like Dip Club, which we met at, is an amazing example of a big community that is really bringing a mass of people together. Um, I mean, but I don't know if I think.
00:28:26 - 00:30:23
Anna: Yeah, I think on that note that the thing that we that I worry about and I did speak to the girls at Dip Club as well, um, is this whole thing of safety and feeling like if you're instigating a swim, even if you've said to people they have to be responsible for themselves, then if something happens, are you liable? And the problem with organising? We've done lots of big kind of swim events for charity and things like that, and book launches, and there's an element of, you know, everybody- for a long time, the sort of advice on the outdoor swimming society was just to say everyone has to sort of agree to swim at their own risk, and that was enough to cover you. But, you know, recently at the International Women's Day Swim we had up here in Edinburgh, um, I was advised that actually, if anything happened to anyone because I'd invited people to swim, if something happened, I could be liable and their family could sue me. And I was like, oh, this is new. So the thing that I worry about is, in a way, yes, it would be good to get some legislation, but at the same time, that would just completely destroy the kind of spontaneity of it all. And so I worry that the bigger it becomes, the more it's going to become an issue more and more. And will they try and put red tape in place to say, if you have a group, everyone has to sign this. You have to do health and safety checks, you have to do waivers, you have to do all of these things, which would spoil the joy of just getting together informally and swimming. So that is something I think is a very real threat. The bigger this becomes. Will beaches or, you know, lake or loch owners decide actually if people are going to swim in my body of water, then I want them to sign things, I want them to pay that sort of thing. I do think that that is potentially a big threat to the freedom we currently have.
00:30:24 - 00:30:34
Vicky: Yeah, yeah. I was wondering. Yeah. Is that does that address what you meant by threats like or the other kinds of threats that you're thinking of or.
00:30:35 - 00:30:38
Hannah: Like, you didn't answer all of my ticks.
00:30:38 - 00:31:12
Vicky: Yeah. But I mean, it's just like it's an interesting question. Like, I don't think we've ever been asked it before. And, um, and so, you know, it's why it's why I kind of we kind of don't necessarily have an immediate answer. It's an interesting thing, you know, like I'm thinking, what are other threats? Well, there's the threats, things to do with pollution and stuff like that, but that actually also brings communities together to sort of fight for waters. So, um, you know, there's a in terms of actually threatening the communities. I'm not sure it's doing that.
00:31:13 - 00:31:52
Hannah: I suppose, like, you know, when there's been a massive downpour. As a community, you have to say it's not safe for us to swim today because there's pollution. Um, but yeah, I think the whole idea around legislation and making sure people are safe and who is liable. Is going to be something that is these communities just have to deal with. Like since you came to Dip Club. You now have tosign on before you go. And they have to take a register.
00:31:52 - 00:31:52
00:31:54 - 00:32:02
Vicky: And that's quite rare. That's- a lot of groups are not operating like that. They're just kind of winging it.
00:32:02 - 00:32:08
Hannah: Yeah, but how do we learn from it by something awful happening? Or. Yeah.
00:32:09 - 00:32:09
00:32:11 - 00:32:11
Hannah: But yeah.
00:32:12 - 00:33:20
Anna: The problem is. Yeah, it puts me off organising something. Like it's making me question whether to do an International Women's Day swim this year, even though we've done it for years. Because my fear now is if something happens, is it down to me to have to deal with it? Is it is it me and my family and my home that will be threatened by a public lawsuit? You know, I'm not willing to take that risk. You know, so so these are the things that I think there's not enough clarity on it. But I also don't want to push for clarity because I think if we push to get some kind of, you know, some kind of legislation, then it will mean that we all do have to do that, sign in and sign out, you know, and then who's responsible and getting lifeguards and kayaks. And it just feels like a massive extra thing. And it does take away from the spontaneous nature of it, which is what's draw me to it in the first place, is like, enough red tape everywhere in everything else, like it's the one thing that's kind of like spontaneous and joyful, and I don't want to have to sign a piece of paper to say I'm doing it. Does that make sense?
00:33:20 - 00:33:22
Hannah: You get checked in and register,
00:33:22 - 00:33:40
Anna: Oh, no. But I can see why. For example, Dip Club would do it because, you know, they are hosting this big group and it has got very big. And I totally see why they would do that. But it just puts me off and I think it would put other people off potentially organising something that could be amazing.
00:33:41 - 00:33:41
00:33:41 - 00:33:44
Anna: So that's where I feel like it is potentially a threat.
00:33:45 - 00:33:57
Hannah: For sure. Like we're coming up to Christmas, New Year. That is always, forever been a thing where people put on Santa hats and get in the sea.
00:33:58 - 00:34:28
Vicky: Yeah. The loony dook that we have here and there was I mean, there have been years when it was organised in Edinburgh by the people who were organising the Christmas and Hogmanay events, but generally, historically, it's just been this free for all that people just do. And no and no one, no one's particularly even organising it. It just happens. And guess when it's something like that, when there's no leader, it just happens. Maybe, um, maybe there is no question of liability.
00:34:32 - 00:34:37
Hannah: I think they. There always seems to be someone that you can pinpoint. Yeah.
00:34:38 - 00:34:38
00:34:41 - 00:34:52
Hannah: So yeah, I think that's probably some of the biggest threats is how do we keep it... Safe, but still that element of fun and spontaneity.
00:34:52 - 00:35:26
Vicky: Yeah. I mean, one thing that always strikes me is that the people who do organise these things are really brave. And, you know, they obviously, you know, they must be- they must feel some of that responsibility, even if they're not worrying about it to the degree that Anna is. And also they're just, you know, it strikes me they're always quite amazing people who are really showing up again and again for for the group, which seems to be the key message we hear from people leading them, you know, you've just got to show up. You've got to be there every Sunday morning or whatever it is.
00:35:28 - 00:35:39
Hannah: Yeah. Well think certainly for the girls that started Dip Club, it was like, this is really important to us. You may as well come to. You can spread the message.
00:35:40 - 00:35:42
Anna: I love Dip Club. They're very inspiring. Yeah.
00:35:42 - 00:35:54
Hannah: Yeah they are. So I guess to finish on. Do you have any advice for keeping safe over this winter period if people are going in cold water?
00:35:56 - 00:38:33
Anna: I mean swimming with, with a group is, you know, absolute top tip, you know, especially if you're not used to swimming in the winter, swimming with someone who does swim, you know, who has got experiences. Swimming through the winter is quite important because, you know, suddenly the stakes are higher. You know, you don't you? You get cold a lot quicker, obviously. Um, and I think you have to be super organised. I think in the winter, you know, when you before you go in the water, you know, make sure everything's kind of ready to put straight on as soon as you come out. Um, have your hot drink. It's really quite essential in the winter months. And just don't be afraid to layer up if you need to. Like if you need to wear a neoprene gloves and socks like I always do in the winter, I think it really helps. Um, you know, and if you want to wear a woolly hat and if you want to wear a neoprene jacket or if you want to go full wetsuit, it's like it's completely okay. It's whatever you're comfortable with. Um, but getting out and getting dry quickly is really important. The after drop, um, phenomenon means that you continue to cool down for another 20 minutes after you get out of the water. So you're, um, you know, you could be absolutely fine in the water. And if you take it to the point where you're too cold in the water and then you get out and then you get even colder, that's really quite a danger point. And again, these things are massively affected by how you arrive to the water that day. So if you arrive and you're well-fed, you are rested, you're feeling good mentally. You know, you can probably swim for longer than you would if you were like me today. You know, I barely slept, and I'm feeling a bit like I've had a bit of a tricky day, you know? I know that I wouldn't be in the water for very long today. Um, and then we also know that you get all the health benefits from being in the cold water if if you're only in for three minutes. So you really don't need to do more than three minutes to get all the health benefits. There's no prizes for staying in for a long time. In fact, I think I don't like it when people post how long they've been staying in for. I think it's quite it's actually quite irresponsible in a way, because it makes people feel that that's what they should be doing. But everybody's so different. And finally, just, you know, make sure that you keep moving and, you know, don't stand around chatting in wet swimsuits and things like that, like things that you might do in the summer you just can't get away with in the winter. So I think that's the main things covered. Yeah.
00:38:33 - 00:38:54
Vicky: I mean, I always think that I mean, obviously there's all the warm clothes and everything and the dry robes. You don't need a dry robe. I mean, actually, I originally used to wear this old charity shop fake fur coat when, when I, um, when I started swimming, and I kind of missed those days, and I could still do it, I guess. But the other thing.
00:38:55 - 00:38:55
Hannah: Here for that.
00:38:56 - 00:39:27
Vicky: Yeah, I really believe that. I guess it's not waterproof. That's the only thing. Um, the other things I really believe in, you know, like doing a bit of moving around afterwards, which is what Anna mentioned, that I sometimes find that I can do all the other things, like the hot drink, the even have like a hot bath. But if I just, like, do a kind of brisk walk or a run or something home, that is the thing that makes the difference to, um, to whether I'm actually properly warmed up.
00:39:29 - 00:39:35
Hannah: Mhm. Yeah. That's why Dip Club is so great. They've got the tunes pumping and everybody's dancing.
00:39:35 - 00:40:00
Anna: Yeah, and you've got a big hill to walk up. That is the. That is the thing. To get back up off that beach. You've got a lot of steps. And I have the same from my when I walk home from, from my local beach, it's quite uphill, you know. And I take the steps up and I mean, there's no way you're still going to be completely frozen at the top of those steps because you definitely warm up on that. Um, with that cardio for sure.
00:40:01 - 00:40:05
Hannah: I wish I knew how many steps now, but it feels like a lot when you've got all your gear.
00:40:06 - 00:40:07
Anna: Yeah, yeah. I bet
00:40:07 - 00:40:25
Hannah: But oh well, thank you both so much for coming on and The Ripple Effect, your book is the perfect Christmas gift for the water lover. Do you not agree? You're both like. ..
00:40:25 - 00:40:27
Vicky: Yes. Sorry. Yes.
00:40:29 - 00:40:29
00:40:29 - 00:40:34
Vicky: Christmas or even your gift to self? Yes.
00:40:35 - 00:40:36
Anna: You deserve it.
00:40:36 - 00:40:59
Hannah: When I read it. It's basically like a great big chunky coffee table book with incredible photos. But also, as I was reading it, there were like at least 3 or 4 times when I cried, just hearing like people's stories, like what's led them to get in the water. It's just lovely. So really beautifully captured.
00:41:00 - 00:41:14
Vicky: Yeah, it was quite an emotional thing bringing it all together and, you know, having those stories shared with us. And of course there's so many more, aren't there? Even just when we came to Dip Club, we were hearing stories afterwards. It was quite, quite amazing.
00:41:15 - 00:41:16
00:41:17 - 00:41:26
Hannah: Well, thank you so much for coming back and speaking to me. I really appreciate it and hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a break now. I believe you've finished your book tour.
00:41:27 - 00:41:27
00:41:27 - 00:41:49
Anna: I know, last night was my last event. So this it's like a- yeah, it's like a full stop at the end of a long, you know, couple of months of promotion. It's been, it's been quite a lot but it's been really lovely. And we've been out on the road and we've met so many people and it's, it's been really special. So. But yeah. Ready. Ready for a break now.
00:41:50 - 00:41:56
Vicky: Yeah. We'll have to come back to to dip with you again Hannah. We'll have to organise that somehow.
00:41:57 - 00:42:01
Hannah: Oh I'd love that. When it's less stressful.
00:42:01 - 00:42:06
Anna: Yes. Slightly less waves this time, perhaps. And massive storm.
00:42:07 - 00:42:08
Hannah: Yeah. How about the summer?
00:42:09 - 00:42:09
00:42:09 - 00:42:10
Anna: Yeah. Why not.
00:42:13 - 00:42:14
Hannah: Thank you both.
00:42:15 - 00:42:16
Anna: Thank you so much.
00:42:16 - 00:42:17
Vicky: Thank you so much for having us.
00:42:18 - 00:42:19
00:42:20 - 00:42:43
Hannah: All right then. Thank you so much for listening. And I'll see you next time for another episode of Happily Ever After with me. Hannah Harvey, it would be wonderful if you could leave a review and subscribe. And of course, if you have a friend who might enjoy this episode, please do pass it on. For anything else you can get in touch with me, either through Instagram @Mumsdays or my website Mumsdays.com