Well, I never thought my first ever blog on the internet would have a very unflattering photo of me not only in a swimsuit but with a swimming hat and goggles on too! Ok, I could have taken off the goggles but I felt that at least you can’t really see who I am with them on.
This was taken at a lovely pool that I used to take my 1 year old to baby swimming in, I used to gasp at the cold temperature when I got in with him and now everytime I get in I just make myself get in straight away and think it’s not as cold as the Thames is going to be.
I started training at the beginning of the month and loved it, but I think I did a bit too much too soon in following a specific training plan. It seems to be something I do often, instead of really listening to myself and deciding what would work for me, I often try and mould myself into what generally works for others and then feel that I’ve failed in some way. However, after chatting with the other lovely ladies doing this challenge, I’ve realised that pushing myself is not the way forward, nor what this challenge is about and that we will all have our own way of swimming that mile but the main thing is that we enjoy it and remember why we signed up for this challenge in the first place.
For me, this is especially poignant. When I entered this competition, never thinking I’d win it, the main reason I put for wanting this challenge is to help me overcome my postnatal depression. I used to love the freedom of swimming outdoors when I was a child but as I’ve grown older and since having had children I just haven’t got myself back in the water.
My children are 4 and 1 and I got postnatal depression after my first was born, unfortunately it wasn’t diagnosed as I just didn’t know why I wasn’t coping and feeling so terrible, I just thought that was what motherhood felt like. However, when it worsened after my son was born I sought help and started taking antidepressants and slowly I started feeling like myself again. I would have no issue with staying on them for life if I needed them but at the start of this year I wanted to start doing things for myself again and looking after myself better so I started eating better, exercising more and weaning myself off the medication with my doctors support to see how I would be.
The idea for getting in the water came from my mum who suggested I watched ‘The doctor who gave up drugs’ as the programme followed Sarah who took up outdoor swimming to help with her depression, and the seed was planted!
I have been quite open with friends about my depression – being a mum is hard! And it has helped me tremendously to be able to say how I’m feeling and to know I’m not alone with these feelings.
I knew I would have to write a blog as part of winning this challenge and I wasn’t sure how honest I should be in these blogs, but hopefully in documenting how the challenge is going for me, I can help and inspire others women and hopefully be an inspiration to myself.