Jill’s Story: Swimming for relaxation
Jill learnt the basics of swimming at school but never really enjoyed it and in particular hated putting her head underwater.
I was out of my comfort zone when I tried to learn to swim again - but I found I had stepped into a whole new comfort zone.
However, at a time when she was living a very stressful life, Jill took the decision to learn how to swim properly so she could enjoy the relaxation benefits.
Despite being sceptical about learning a new skill and remembering her struggles when she first learnt, she soon felt at ease.
“I decided to step out of my comfort zone when I tried to learn to swim again,” said Jill. “But I found I had stepped into a whole new comfort zone.
“It wasn’t really until I started wearing goggles that I started feeling a real difference. I felt safe for the first time with my head under the water.”
After a series of lessons, Jill became completely water confident and a competent swimmer.
And she admits swimming had the desired effect on reducing her levels of stress.
“I find it so relaxing – almost meditative,” said Jill. “Sometimes when I’m not feeling great, I think about not going.
“But then, I go for a few minutes in the water and end up swimming for an hour and coming out feeling so much better.”
As well as bringing some calm to her stressful life, she soon discovered another health benefit from regular swimming, eventually losing more than 7 stone.
"Swimming now fills the gap that might get filled otherwise by a hunk of cheese!"
While Jill continued to be a regular swimmer for some time, her enthusiasm for swimming was tested when she experienced a knee injury.
This led her to stop visiting the pool and consequently lose motivation to return – Jill had fallen out of her routine.
However, Jill won a competition in her local paper for an Everyday Swim lesson with Duncan Goodhew where she received individual advice from him.
This proved to be a key moment for Jill as the enthusiasm and inspiration felt from Duncan really motivated her to return to the pool.
Jill became a supporter of the Everyday Swim project and shared her experience in an Everyday Swim DVD and at a Swim Conference.