Her Spirit Podcast

Open water Swimming: The joys and the myths (No, you won’t be eaten by sharks!)

April 04, 2022 Her Spirit Season 5 Episode 2
Her Spirit Podcast
Open water Swimming: The joys and the myths (No, you won’t be eaten by sharks!)
Show Notes Transcript

This episode is all about open water swimming and host Louise Minchin speaks to Olympic Silver Medallist Keri-anne Payne , Her Spirit Co-founder Mel Berry and Her Spirit community members Gillian and Anna, about:

  • Facing and embracing the fears that open water swimming can bring.
  • Practical, professional tips for beginners and more advanced open water swimmers alike.
  • How to motivate yourself to exercise when work and family demands your time and attention!
  • The positive impacts open water swimming can have on your mental health
  • Training tips for an open swim challenge In Lake Coniston of 5.25 miles this June.

If you fancy joining us for the Sunset Swim Series at open water swim venues across the UK ​​https://herspirit.co.uk/sunset-swim-series/ or the Summer Solstice https://herspirit.co.uk/summer-solstice-swim/ on the 19th June in Nottingham and Cirencester sign up today.

Thanks to our partners Zoggs and Swim England for your support. 

Her Spirit is a global community of like-minded women all getting fitter, stronger and healthier together. We believe your mind, body and fuel are intrinsically linked and taking small achievable steps will lead to big changes.

Regardless of your ability, location or stage of life Her Spirit has something for everyone. We are an inclusive bunch of women who believe that being fit and healthy shouldn't be a chore but something you love to do. Our mantra is 'Together We've Got This' and together we support each other to live life to the full and achieve mind, body and fuel goals we never thought possible.

Her Spirit mission - INSPIRING EVERY WOMAN TO BECOME FITTER, STRONGER AND HEALTHIER for more information go to http://www.herspirit.co.uk 


Hear from mum-of-two Sarah about how running changed her life in her fifties and how much the Her Spirit community means to her.
Find out more at herspirit.co.uk

Her Spirit - Open Water Swimming - Season 5 Episode 2 

Louise Minchin:
 Hello and welcome to the Her Spirit podcast. I am Louise Minchin, every month we sit down together and we talk about the small changes that we can all make to our lives that can lead to big results and make a difference both physically, mentally as well. If you are new to the podcast, welcome. Her Spirit is a community of women just like you and we come together to help and encourage each other to get more active, move a little bit more and feel fitter, stronger and healthier. You might be here because you love cycling. It might be swimming. It might be something that you want to start, for example, running. You might have run loads or you might just be doing the school run, whatever it is, we can help you. You are part of our community at Her Spirit, herspirit.co.uk, for lots more information or on the app, the Her Spirit app, there is so much information, support, no judgment. Together we have got whatever you want to do. 

Louise Minchin:
 Today, I'm super excited because we are talking about swimming, particularly open water swimming. We will do a special podcast on swimming in a pool, but today, because I'm just beginning to get that kind of tingly spring feeling where we might be thinking, are we gonna tackle open water swimming this year? That's why we're gonna talk about it. We've got some fabulous guests and we've also got some Her Spirit community members as well. So my things about swimming, I think I'm lucky because I was always a fish. I think I swam before I could possibly walk, that’s the legend in my family. I don't know if it's really true. So I feel privileged to be able to love swimming as much as I do. And one of my things in life is to try and pass that on to other people. And this podcast today is particularly about that. First of all, we have Keri-Anne Payne, who is an Olympic silver medalist and double world champion, Keri-anne Payne. Lovely to see you. Thank you so much. Just really quickly, so people get a bit of insight. Your favourite distance is how far swimming? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 25 meters is my favourite distance to swim, but the event that I used to swim. 

Louise Minchin: 

Keri-anne Payne! 

Louise Minchin:
 The event you used to swim was how far? 

Keri-anne Payne: 10,000 meters. 

Louise Minchin:
 I love that. And this is where we're gonna be really honest because here you are, you are a 10,000 meter swimmer, but actually your favourite distance is 25 meters, which is, what the size of an average pool, isn't it? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 I mean, that's definitely probably taking it a bit too far. But that's probably the distance that I'm doing at the moment, if I'm being completely honest with you. 

Louise Minchin:
 Oh, this is what this podcast is all about, honesty, so thank you so much for that. We've also got Mel Berry, from Her Spirit, the Her Spirit founder, Mel Berry, you are a swimmer as well. I'm gonna ask you, I've never asked you this question. What is your favourite distance? 

Mel Berry:
 Yeah, I mean, I think my favourite distance is definitely not 25 meters. I think I had a fast twitch fibre in my body once and it’s definitely left. So I'm gonna say my favourite distance is probably 5K. So the 11 mile swim that I'm doing with you Louise in September is a little bit of a stretch, but we're gonna have a lovely time together. Aren't we? 

Louise Minchin:
 Oh goodness. I hope we are. And also we've got two wonderful, community members here as well, who are gonna talk to us about their story, why they love swimming and what they're planning to do this year. There's Gillibob. Hi, Gillibob, how are you? 

Gillibob:
 Really well, thank you. 

Louise Minchin:
 Tell us about your experience swimming and what is you want to do? 

Gillibob:
 So my experience so far in terms of open water swimming, I probably started end of 2020, and I've just been kind of creeping up the distance since then. So I did two and a half kilometres last year at the summer solstice swim and I’d say for now that's my favourite distance, cause it kind of comes in around about an hour for me. And I'd say about an hour of exercise is kind of my sweet spot. But this year I'm signed up to do 5k so that will obviously become my fast favourite very soon. And then the week after that I'll be doing five and a half miles in Coniston, so who knows? 

Louise Minchin:
 And what strikes me about all of this and particularly what you've said there is there's a lot of work to do actually and anybody who's listening to this podcast for the first time, what I like about that is you started with smaller distances and you're growing them, which is brilliant. Anna, lovely to see you. You have got a big challenge on as well this year, but where are you at with swimming at the moment? 

Anna:
 So, I would say that the creeping up of distances is not quite what I'm doing. I'm more like jumping in wholeheartedly to a mega distance. So, I swam about a mile, open water about 10 years ago and I haven't done very much apart from pool swimming since, I dunno why, I just didn't. And I'm doing Coniston this year. Just as Gillibob said it's five and a half miles, in about three months time. But I'm really excited about it. I mean it's a beautiful place to swim. So although my head will be in the water most of the time, hopefully it'll be good. 

Louise Minchin:
 Actually you make a good point about looking up as well. What I wanna do because I feel about swimming that, it's really my passion . And I think probably Keri-anne, I can speak for you as well, with what you do, with swimming is to try and pass it on. But what I wanna try and do today is kind of bust those myths, ask a few questions like what they find difficult and there is that first thing and Gillibob, I want you to pick up this point, of 

even getting there. You know, we talk about open water swimming and we are all familiar with it, but I mean, it's very intimidating, isn't it? 

Gillibob:
 It is pretty intimidating. I think for me, I'm quite an anxious person anyway. So to go somewhere new where you don't know the people, you don't know what kit you're gonna need, you've got no idea. I mean, you might have swim in the sea a little bit, you know, fair enough but that's kind of just dipping in and out. To go to a lake and maybe feel like everybody there is gonna be a pro swimmer. And they're all gonna be, I guess, kind of head down, going around a circuit. You don't know what the circuit is. You don't know what the distance is. There's so many things to think about. And for me, that's why actually discovering the likes of Her Spirit and realising that there's people there to help you and you can ask the most basic questions and nobody judges you. Because we all know that we had those real kind of head scratches before we went for the first time. And I personally just want to get more people into the water. I really feel like, you know what, even if you're only in for a couple of minutes, five minutes the first time, especially when the temperature's a bit low, that's absolutely fine. It's still that amazing feeling you get from being outside and in water is phenomenal. So yeah any myths, we can bust is always good. 

Louise Minchin:
 Okay. Anna, just tell us about what has worried you in the past and now, 

Anna:
 Yeah, I don't feel massively confident in going into open water and it's funny, it's the things that I don't know that are weighing on my mind because you don't know what you don't know in open water swimming, when you're moving from the pool into open water swimming. I didn't think about the fact that I have hay fever and I'm gonna need to take all mother of antihistamines before swimming. I was listening to the podcast last week and there's a lot of conversation about not being able to see your hands. So when I was swimming on Tuesday, I was like, “Oh how would it feel if I just shut my eyes and couldn't see where I was going?” So those are the kinds of things that I'm nervous about and being eaten by sharks. 

Louise Minchin: 

I only laugh at that because that's absolutely tapped into one of my most ridiculous fears. When I did a big swim in Chile and I knew there were orcas in the fjord that I was swimming in. I was absolutely convinced that they, of all the hundred swimmers, they would choose me. Of course, they didn't go anywhere near us. Oh, so Keri-anne, let's deal with what's under the water first in the UK. 

Keri-anne Payne :
 In the UK, we do not need to worry about sharks. Having said that I too still have moments. Every time I go in it's an irrational fear and irrational fears are irrational. What we can do is try and be as rational about it as we can. I know that there are absolutely no sharks in Windermere or Coniston, and I know that's an absolute fact. It's not possible, definitely never gonna happen, but that doesn't stop me from still having a moment every now and then. And that's okay. I think everyone assumes that because you take on something as amazing/crazy as open water swimming that you're supposed to be, this fearless person and running along with it. And that's rubbish. Like everyone has moments, everyone's worried or scared about different bits and pieces. But also if you, if you have a panic it's okay, we all do. And there's ways that we can work our way through those processes. So I'm gonna be completely honest with you. I know that there's fish when I go places, when I go and swim at most places, I don't wanna see them. They can do their thing. I'm gonna do my thing. I don't wanna see them. I don't wanna see my hands, see the fish. I don't wanna see the bottom. I don't wanna see any of it. I'm not interested in seeing any of it. I'm interested in being in nature and looking at what's happening above the water and not thinking, trying hard, not to think about what's underneath the water. For me, one of the things that helps me get over that thing is that actually to have fish in a lake, certainly in our inland bodies of water means that the lake is really clean. It means that the biodiversity in the water is really healthy. If there are no fish where you're swimming, although that sounds in my head like a great place to go, it's probably not a great place to go, because it means that the water quality actually means things aren't alive, all the living, same with weeds and weeds and all that kind of stuff that you don't really like. If all of those things are in the water, it's actually a sign that's really clean. So rationally I can deal with that. I know that if I can see those things, it means that I'm swimming in a nice, clean place 

Louise Minchin:
 This is, really important Keri-anne, about mentally, how to prepare ourselves, isn't it? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 The best thing for you to do in those sorts of scenarios is, to work out a breathing strategy that can help you deal with panic. So one of the best things to do, and one of the things that I always talk people through is, just a quick and easy breathing cycle, which is a breath in for three and a breath out for six. And the reason that the breath out for six is longer is because it's actually the act of breathing out, that’s the calming trigger for us as humans. So if we can breathe out in a controlled manner for slightly longer, it triggers our calming reflex. That's why yoga and meditation are hugely based around breathing because it's constantly bringing our brain into using our rational mind and our problem solving functions. And rather than being in the back part of our mind, which is fight or flight. So if you're in fight or flight or you feel like you're going into it, the best way out of that is through breathing. And that's like a skill that's like learning front crawl. You have to practice it. 

Louise Minchin:
 And the point about the Her spirit community is there are places that people can go where they will get people like Gillibob who's a Her Spirit swimmer angel, to help with that kind of whole process. And I love that thing you said, I think it was you Anna "don't know what you don't know". And so Mel, just explain to everybody listening, where can people go? Where do they get information? 

Mel Berry:
 So where they go, just go to herspirit.co.uk and we've got loads of opportunities. So as you said, Gillibob's our Her Spirit angel. She volunteers every Saturday at 11 o'clock at Spring Lakes to just take people by the hand and give them that support and confidence. 

Louise Minchin:
 And Spring Lakes is a Nottingham. Isn't it? If you're near there. 

Mel Berry: 

Yeah, correct. So we're in the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border, but last year Louise, you joined us for summer solstice, which was a brilliant event. And we had a significant percentage of people that did that event for the first time. So that comes back again on the 19th of June. And we're also working with the wonderful team at Lake 32 in Cirencester, to do that one. But we've got a great partnership with, Swim England and that's about the sunset swim series and those first timers getting into the water. 

Louise Minchin:
 So tell us about that and that's for everybody, everybody's invited aren't they? 

Mel Berry:
 So the reason that we wanted to do that is many people like Gillibob and Anna, two, three years ago were new to open water swimming and going to do the big events that we are all doing is one step that's far, too far. So what we wanted to create was an opportunity once a month, that was really social. So from 500 meters upwards, all the way through to a thousand plus, and there are many venues through the UK that you can do it. And it's an opportunity to make open water swimming, social, and really fun and connected. 

Louise Minchin:
 Keri-anne, lots of opportunities for people to get help with that fear factor. Gillibob mentioned about kit? So let's talk about kit. What do we need? 

Gillibob:
 Well, I would absolutely say regardless of whether you are going to a venue that requires you to have a tow float, I would say a tow float is your friend. I do see people swimming without them in certain places in rivers and wherever, if you're going wild swimming. Personally, that's not something I would do. I think it helps you be visible to river traffic or wherever you are and a place like Spring Lakes where there are actually people there there's lifeguards to help, but it just means if you do get a bit tired, you've got something to hang onto, kind of float on your back a bit like Keri-anne was saying, if you are having a little bit of a panic and you need to have a bit of a breather, that's something to hang onto just to have that breather. Similarly something like a brightly coloured hat is really useful because it helps people spot where you are. But other than that, I 

guess, realistically it kind of depends how warm the water is, how hardcore you are. I personally swim in a wetsuit and I have swum in a wetsuit all year round. But here's plenty of people going dipping at the moment in a swimming costume and maybe I'll do that next year. Maybe not, who knows. And obviously if you're not getting the face in the water, you're not necessarily going to need goggles. There's not a massive amount of kit you actually need. It's more about kind of comfort levels and a lot of places you can hire this stuff. So it's not about having to own it. I absolutely hired when I first started, see how you feel, see what you get on with try different wetsuits, try different things. So I personally think it's pretty accessible. You don't have to go in right at the “I'm buying an amazing wetsuit for the first time”. 

Louise Minchin:
 So Keri-anne, there's loads of really good advice there from Gillibob. Tell us your thoughts as well with kit because it doesn't actually have to be very expensive, does it? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 No, definitely not. What I would say, if you're worried about the cold, because it will still be cold. Let's not beat about the bush, it's still gonna be chilly. There's a difference between surf wetsuits and swimming wetsuits, make sure you find a swimming wetsuit. Otherwise you'll be making it much harder for yourself along the way. What I would suggest is your first few times going in for the last two minutes, you're in the water, try and take your wetsuit down at least halfway, it might feel cold. Not might, it will feel cold, but what you're doing there is you are acclimatising to the temperature of the water and that is gonna help you acclimatise over the period of time. Even as the water gets warmer towards your, your challenge. And if it starts to get warm enough you might be able to do one or two swims without your wetsuit, even if you're still going use your wetsuit. I think, for yourself specifically Anna it's definitely about getting used to all the kit you need in the open water, but also just still getting used to the temperature of the water, because it has the potential to be super warm. It also has the potential to still be pretty chilly. And that is the beauty of living in the UK is that it can be any one of those. So I think a wetsuit's really good. Gloves and booties. So neoprene gloves, neoprene booties. And it's a massive game changer for me having the gloves and the 

booties on, it just makes my experience so nicer. And from there, you know, you can either increase or decrease the layers as of what feels right for you. So what we do know is that there is a massive heat wave coming in April, which is great, but that doesn't mean the water is gonna be warm, just because it's like, you know, 29 degrees outside doesn't mean our water, will warm up that quickly. So, it's still gonna be pretty chilly. So just being aware of all those eventualities. 

Louise Minchin:
 Just let me remind everybody, there’s so many resources, on the Her Spirit app go to the, her spirit app at download it or go to herspirit.co.uk and sign up. And there is so much information there for open water swimming, there's training plans, there's training plans for one K, there's training plans up to 10 K there's training plans for all of us who are doing even further than that. So there's so much there. Anna, I know you had a question for Keri-anne, what was it about? 

Anna:
 So my question was about kit that I think we've covered that and that's been so helpful. But one of the things that I would really like to know more about is, is the transition from sort of pool swimming to open water swimming, uh, in terms of what, what distances or what kinds of things, what, what can I, what can I do for my first session? What should be my expectation of myself? Because I know my own self, I know that if I'm swimming 4k in the pool, I will expect to be swimming 4k and open water in my first session. But how, how do I control that side of me? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 Yeah. And that's the thing that we have to deal with as humans is that expectation of ourselves and not being disappointed if we don't meet that expectation. So if it's 25 meters, let's go with that one as an example, and you're swimming 4k, that's a lot of turns that you're doing, you're basically having a break every single time you touch a wall. But when you get into the open water, you don't have that. You don't have the ability to stop. You can stop obviously, but you don't have the wall to hang on every time. 

Keri-anne Payne:
 So that is why it's really good to get into the open water as much as you can.What I would say is your very first open water swim, the first time is 

just about experiencing it going in, seeing what it feels like, getting used to the temperature. The water's going to taste different. There'll be such an overall body mind experience that you're going through. I think the first thing is just use it as an introduction and then see how it goes from there. 

Louise Minchin:
 Keri-anne, I want to ask you, um, particularly about that, because I put a little post out on Insta asking everybody if they had questions for you or I, and that's to Anna's point, exactly. Abbie asked, um, she's increasing distance, to compete, in a 10 K she's currently doing three and a half K and these are big distances. So don't be an intimidated, we all had to start somewhere, but just to Abbie’s point, how do you sort of build up to those kind of distances Keri-anne? 

Keri-Anne Payne:
 I think it's a combination between pool swimming and open water swimming. So at the moment, I think it's too cold to be doing lots of distance in the open water and pushing yourself to try and do distance now is not gonna be helpful in the open water. Use this time for your acclimatisation process. So getting used to the cold, seeing how the cold feels and working your body through that process. What I would say is to work your, your distance up is one option, slightly better is to work your distance backwards. So starting with when your swim is, so you're 10 K as, as Abby was saying, you know, what would you feel really happy with being able to swim two weeks before that? And then basically working backwards from there. So rather than thinking, oh, I somehow need to get from a 10 K today to that part. If you work backwards, you'll see a guide. So when we start to swim and we start doing endurance and we start to get our muscle memory, our body gets used to arms going over. As we go through, we become slightly more efficient, slightly fitter, all those things. You will be able to increase the distance that you do, but don't worry about having to get 10 K done, how you're gonna get there today, because that's what trainings for. I'd say if you're really struggling as well with that stuff, go and find a coach. I really cannot recommend highly enough finding someone that can help with your technique. Technique is gonna be the thing that's really gonna give you the confidence and help you to maintain and increase that distance over the time that you've been doing your swim 

and the challenge of finding a coach, a qualified open water coach that can really help you get to that. 

Louise Minchin
 Keri-anne, I think that's absolutely brilliant because for example, if you even one K was your target, that is such a good advice because you wouldn't run for example, a marathon ahead of your marathon either. Would you? So this makes so much sense to me. Other things I just want to ask either of you two, because we are already running out of time, which is so amazing, cuz there's so much to do in this and we'll continue talking on her spirit on the app and everywhere else, because you can, you can chat can't you Gillibob if you've got questions, you can go onto the forums and find out what you need to know, can't you? 

Gillibob:
 Oh, absolutely. It, I mean, that's, that's perfectly normal for people to almost just have a, I dunno, they might have, it might be late at night and they just only, I'm having a random, irrational panic about such and you know, you just put it on there just at that point. And there's always somebody there just to give you a bit of reassurance and go, oh, I had that worry. Everybody's in it together. 

Louise Minchin:
 Okay that's brilliant to know. I also want to talk a little bit about, we're talking about open water with, and we're talking about doing that for the enjoyment, but also you want to do set targets and I know Anna you're particularly doing for a very personal reason. So just tell us a little bit about that and do you think that will, I'm sure it will motivate you in your training and motivate you on the day as well? 

Anna :
 So I'm actually swimming Coniston in the place of my sister who really sadly passed away in November. So she was an absolutely nut when it came to swimming and sport and hugely active person, really, really fit. But she also had an alcohol addiction and for the last three years of her life, it sort of took over and yeah, we ended up losing her in November and Mel phoned me up in January pretty much after new year and said that Holly signed up for this thing do you want to do it? And I'd always talked about doing an event with, with my sister. And there was never the time, 

like we couldn't agree or we didn't have the right weekends that we were available. And, and then I had two babies and then we had a pandemic and now that chance has gone.
 So I'm doing it for her and I'm raising money for alcohol change. And, I think a lot with these events and when you're signing up for something, be it a challenge that you're fundraising for, or be it a challenge you know, you just decide you want to do one day. Coming back to that motivation is so important for when you've got to get out of bed at 6.30am in the morning for a swim and your baby's kept you up, or you’ve been awake since four anyway. To have something that is your anchor and your motivation and your thing is really important. And for me, that is, that is swimming. What I should have should have really swim with my, with my sister and instead I'm swimming for her. 

Louise Minchin
 Oh Anna I just wanna give you a big hug. I mean, that's an amazing thing to do, and it's very emotional to hear you talk about it. And I suppose, Mel, I know that you knew Holly as well, didn't you, you know, the why is really important in all of it, if you're doing a big challenge, particularly the why you're doing is so important, isn't it, Mel? 

Mel Berry:
 Yeah. And, you know, Keri-anne took a group of us to ask that question and she asked me why. And for me Coniston is that reason, you know, I tried to do Coniston six years ago with Holly and she made it to the end. And I didn't because I got too cold. And, and that's why I reached out to Anna and said, let's do it together and remember a phenomenal woman that unfortunately isn't with us today. And, and that's the essence of her spirit togetherness, you know, Gillibob talks about those chats and it's about supporting each other and you find ways that you support each other that you probably didn't know. And it'll be my privilege to swim, you know, with, with Anna and Gillibob, and we'll have a massive, uh, hug at the end and through memories and I’m proud of you, Anna for coming on board and joining us for this journey. 

Louise Minchin
 And thank you for talking about it here on the podcast as well. Gillibob you were kind of nodding along as well as you listening to those two talking. 

Gillibob:
 Yeah. I think when Keri-anne took the, the session that we had and basically said, you really need to understand your why, that was really helpful for me. For me, it’s just more about seeing what I'm capable of. You know, I've done, I've done some swimming at Spring Lakes and I've, I have challenged myself a bit to get out into a bigger lake and understand what it's like in choppy water and really understanding what you have to do when you're, you know, you're facing with faced with different circumstances. But for me, it's more just about come on, Gillibob you can do this, let's see what you're capable of. And I'm quite excited about that, but absolutely the thought of also being there to support likes of Anna doing it for such an amazing reason is for me, it's about the community side of it as well. It's about doing it with other people and that feeling afterwards, when you're probably having a massive piece of cake and maybe a pint, it is just such a nice, it's just that feeling of you've done it together. 

Louise Minchin:
 Gillibob, I love what you're saying there. About community and I kind of feel in this podcast, we've come completely full circle. We've gone from that first dip in the dip in the lake or whatever it is to having pints and cake and Keri-anne that's so important, isn't it about finding people that you can go and do this with? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 Yeah, absolutely. Having a network of people, finding people, finding your tribe essentially. And that's why I love the Her spirit community because that's there, it's a resource that's there. That's open for you guys to go and find people in your area. The other thing you can do is there's a new app, called wild. So if you search swim w ild app in the app store or on Android, if you use Android and download it and, and there's loads of swim spots around the world, but definitely loads of swim spots around the country. And you can add your swim spot if it's not there. The reason that we've worked and we've partnered with these guys as well is not only from finding a swim spot, but also to make it as safe as possible. So I think another thing people are scared of is the safety of it. So we have what's called the safe outdoor swimming assessment. So each swim spot will have a specific to that body of water assessment on it. So essentially two 

versions. The first version is about just gaining your knowledge and understanding more about the body of water you're about to get into and about yourself and about some other safety aspects. And then there's a dynamic risk assessment, which you do as you get to your venue, you quickly do that. And it's about checking the forecast. It's about understanding that about cold water shock, about you, about the kit that you have, all that kind of stuff. So it's an amazing resource, not only from a finding a swim spot, but also from doing it really safely as well and why we think it's really safe to do that. So use the Her Spirit app, use the wild swimming app because those two things are gonna be great resources for you from a tribe and from a safety perspective as well. And then my third and final kind of tip is about making sure that you guys just give it a go, go out there and give it a go. Don't be too scared not to try it go and just give it a go. Because I haven't heard a single person that's done it, that hasn't enjoyed it. 

Louise Minchin
 I think Keri-anne makes so many good points there. Not least of course and we should really have mentioned to that the top and of the podcast, safety is number one priority and open water swimming is not something you do alone, is it? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 Absolutely not, no, I would always go swimming with someone if you can't go in the water with someone, make sure someone's there to watch you on the side at a very, very minimum. The great thing about the wild swimming app is that you can send a beacon as well. So a safety beacon is integrated with what three words. So it's like really super specific to where you are and it'll send the details to the place that you are at to your emergency contact in your phone. So sign up for the app you add in emergency contact details. And when you go swimming, you send a beacon. And it's also another great way of connecting with people. So hopefully the person you send the beacon to will check in with you after your swim and see how you got on. 

Louise Minchin
 I think Keri-anne, to be honest with you, I’ve done a podcast with you before and every time I do one, we've talked for however many minutes and there's still so much to go at. So thank you so much. I know you've 

very much on board with her spirit and you've training people to become open water coaches as well. Aren't you, which is fantastic. How's that going? 

Keri-anne Payne:
 Yeah, it's going really well. It's for me, it's so amazing. So I've qualified just over 400 people in the last three, four seasons, which is just incredible. And I think the thing I'm most proud of is that, open water swimming is as we all know, very female dominant, which is a great thing. And actually I'm seeing that from a coaching perspective. So I've qualified about 80% of the qualified are women. And I just, I love that. I love that so much that there are so many women who love this so much, that they're willing to spend money and invest in themselves to go and coach other people through this process. 

Louise Minchin : 

And that's what I love about swimming as well. It's all about all those different levels and we're all the same. And actually you turn up and it doesn't matter what shape, what size, what experience you are. We're kind of all equal in the water. Aren't we, Mel? 

Mel Berry:
 Yeah, we are. And there's a recent survey that outdoor swimmer did and it's, uh, guess echoes everything. Keri-anne talked about. So in the last 12 months, 65% of women have now turned into 73.5% of women that open water swim. So, you know, we're, we're taking over. Our coaches are female. Our swimmers are female its world domination all the way. Isn't it ladies? 

Together: Oh yeah. 

Louise Minchin:
 Oh, listen, I can't wait to see you all at a swim wherever I turn up. I don't think I'm gonna make Coniston, but I have got another couple plans. So it's absolutely wonderful. Keri-anne, thank you as ever for your time and people will go and follow you and you are always doing lots of information on your instagram. Gillibob good luck. Anna huge, good luck. 

Mel, you don't need good luck or maybe you do cuz I know the, the cold is your challenge. It's been wonderful. This has been a Her Spirit podcast. We'll have another one next month and thank you very much indeed for your time and everybody who's gonna try open-water swimming, honestly, I love it. Every time I get out of the water, I feel refreshed. I feel inspired. I feel calm. Just go out there, do what you want and enjoy it. Thank you everybody.