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Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful break and are now feeling hopeful for the year ahead. It is easy to get caught up in the buzz of resolutions and goal setting in January, but if you have been a subscriber for a while, you will know I think January is a better time for planning and reflecting. Allow this month to be a time to reset. Gently get back into your swimming or fitness routines. This month’s issue isn’t encouraging you to be anything other than the person you already are and is deliberately focused on creativity.
I am constantly blown away by the talent and skill of people I meet through swimming. Swimmers are often inspired by the people they swim with, where they swim or the water itself. Take our beautiful front cover illustrated by Nancy Farmer, what a brilliant way to capture memories of swimming and friends; read more in her swimterview with Jonathan Cowie.
Meanwhile, Elaine K Howley explores some world-famous artists inspired by the water, read about the Poet in Penzance and learn about Charlotte Savill’s recent appearance on BBC1’s Make it at Market. Our Gear Editor Jo Tinsley guides us through layering and we test some of the best warming products on the market.
If you are thinking about what you might achieve in 2024 perhaps get inspired by our event review or the incredible swim by Stephanie Montero. All this and the usual training support, travel and reader stories.
Rest, reflect and reserve resolutions for spring!
Ella Foote, Editor
- Creativity and swimmingWhy not think of ways to be more maverick in your swimming, says Jonathan Cowie
- Swimming goals? Think of the bigger pictureSimon Griffiths suggests reflecting on the bigger picture when setting your swimming goals for the year
- Winter Freestyle Refresher: Part 3: Using your arms in front crawlSimon Griffiths has the third part of our guide to reviewing and refreshing your front crawl stoke this winter
- Back to basics: how do I get my face in the water?“I’m struggling to get my face in the water when swimming at my local lake, and I would love some advice!” Simon Griffiths has advice for relieving anxiety in open water.
- You ask, we answer: How can I get back into swimming after an illness?“Do you have any tips on getting back into swimming after a virus?” Swim coach Cassie Patten has advice for return to exercise after illness
- Rising swim starsRowan Clarke investigates swimming films, and how open water inspires filmmaking
- Go Swim Loch Lomond 2023Simon Griffiths travelled to Scotland for a little dip in a big loch. Here’s how he got on at Go Swim Loch Lomond 2023.
- Martyn Webster: How swimming has enriched my life“Swimming has enriched my life immeasurably in so many ways. I feel that I have gone through many chapters and at each stage swimming has played a part,” says long-distance swimmer Martin Webster
- Water drawnFrom Medusa drying her snakes with a hairdryer to the difficulties of putting your pants on in the cold, Nancy Farmer’s artwork perfectly captures the fun, hilarity and comradeship of cold-water swimming.
- Weekend swim retreat: The Samling Hotel, Lake DistrictAt The Samling Hotel in the Lake District, Ella Foote enjoys a cool dip in Windermere followed by an award-winning warming meal.
- Poet of PenzanceAccidental poet Katrina Naomi shares her creative practice and how swimming helps her out of her head and into her body.
- Stained glass swimmersArtist and outdoor swimmer Charlotte Savill starts 2024 in a promising position after featuring in BBC1’s Make it at Market television series. Her work is inspired by wild swims and her own outdoor synchronised swimming.
- How to layer up after a cold swimWith numb fingers, damp skin and scant shelter, it can be hard to get dressed and warm after a cold water dip. Understanding the benefits of layers and the right materials can make all the difference
- Florida Springs revisitedWith over 700 springs in central and north Florida, there is an abundance of publicly accessible swim spots to fill a swimming holiday, as Susanne Masters discovers.
- Swim for the whalesDaniel Shailer shares how Stephanie Montero Bending swam across Banderas Bay, Mexico, for the first time, galvanising a community of swimmers.