We’ve all heard of the Bluetits and we all know the incredible benefits we can get from cold water swimming but what is extra special is the acute percentage of mothers and daughters that take the cold plunge together.
Being a woman myself who not only gets to swim with their mum but also their nan made me wander down the exploration to see if any other women got to experience this very warming connection that the very cold sea offers us.
After speaking to a few local ladies, it wasn’t long until this maternal, female bond had been unearthed right in the centre of our hometown’s harbour. These women; mothers and daughters, come flocking to the local harbour in Newquay, whether that be after a tough day, on a special moon phase, or simply just to start their day with a mental challenge. What was interesting is that despite the unpleasant atmosphere harbours carry with them, all us women were drawn to the harbour for our swims. For me, the harbour is a relatively quiet place with a tranquil atmosphere and an abundant backdrop of greenery and birds that overthrows the occasional fish gut and petrol swims; but for the rest of the women it was a safe environment to destress:
“It’s a refuge and sanctuary, the heart of our community. A place for family and friends to gather and yet a place you can feel safe alone.” – Heidi, a mother.
“I love swimming in the harbour because it has a calm and beautiful atmosphere, I especially love going in the evening as it feels like the working harbour is asleep. Mum and I also love how the harbour walls act like a safe pool of water to swim in.” – Daisy, a daughter.
“The calmness of the harbour really allows you to fully connect with the sea in that moment and to enjoy it with my mum is a true blessing!” – Summer, a daughter.
But why swim together? Why not with friends or in solitude? Almost all women mentioned that swimming with their mother or daughter brought with it a great safety net. It made them feel secure and offered a sense of openness that may not necessarily come about during swims with friends or even on your own. Summer explains that her and her mum are best friends and going in the sea together solidifies that bond they share; after the cold rush it turns into bliss and excitement and afterwards they hug, smile and jump around like excitable kids, it is something they love to share together: a few minutes of just them and the sea.
Something lovely that was mentioned across all relationships was that swimming in the cold sea was a place where they never argued and where their arguments came to dissipate. Debbie, mother to Summer, stresses to us that it is a their unique time to really forget their troubles and let the cold water rush over their bodies and that there really is no other feeling like that. To me, this showed the immense mental activity and strength that takes place whilst submerging in the cold sea and also reflects the beautiful ability that the sea has to heal and refresh the minds of these women, and the ability it has to connect and strengthen their bonds.
To one mum, Heidi, who is a water woman through and through, always in the ocean exploring her photography, said that the sea offered both her and her daughter Bella, a complete state of relaxation where they get to really enjoy each others company and that the sea brings out the best of their personalities and frees them from the usual mother/daughter dynamic.
My own mum, Nicki, mentioned that experiencing this place of vulnerability with your mum or daughter brings forth a sense of empowerment. I couldn’t agree more as nothing beats mentally bracing the cold, beneath the low harbour canopies, floating, laughing and smiling before you are left with a clearer mind and a natural high for the rest of your day.
Have a listen to what some mums and daughters have to say about cold water swimming together here.
Take a look at this short video on mums and daughters cold water swimming to accompany this article below: