Chasing The Sublime – Why Winter Swimming Is Good For Running A Business

Anyone that runs their own small business will agree – there is never (in reality) a moments rest. That’s why I swim – as  a way of giving myself a challenge outside of running Eternal Landscapes Mongolia as a business. And I’ve come to believe that winter swimming is good for running a business.

I have always swum – I love the feeling of the water … it can be pool, sea or lake (although I have always had a preference for salt water) but swimming has slowly developed into a joy of winter swimming in the sea. Not only does it take me away from my business head, not only does it refresh and rejuvenate, but it also turns an ordinary day into an extraordinary day.

There’s quite a community of winter swimmers out there … from the quick dippers to those taking on more extreme challenges.  There are ice swimmers, skinny dippers, marathon swimmers, wild water swimmers … the list goes on.

But why swim in the winter months? Well, look in the media and you’ll see articles on the mental and physical health benefits connected with cold water winter swimming. For me, as well as the physical and  mental benefits and the time out from the challenge of the business, there is also a feeling of pure freedom.

And when it doesn’t all come together? When the sea is just a little too rough or a biting wind turns it into more of a challenge than you want? Then there’s tea and cake to be had. But, for me, there is never a bad swim – each one is always worth it for the feeling of being under an open sky and the adventure, joy and challenge it brings. And all those small business niggles are put into perspective and turn into something manageable.

But, I don’t really have the words to describe the feeling I get from winter sea swimming so I’ll leave you with this link to Chasing the Sublime  – a short film about the majestic physicality of cold water swimming. In the words of Kate Rew – founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society:

‘I think we swim for the same reason that mountaineers climb – both involve pedestrian and sometime extreme discomfort, but pushing through that puts you in a different mental zone. It creates a feeling of the sublime, where you are energised and calm at the same time. The world looks brighter after a swim, as if someone has coloured it in.’


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