The River Otters: Just Keep Swimming
I am joined by Laura Nesbitt and John Myatt who I have had some magic swim-ventures with. Together we are The River Otters and we have some INCREDIBLE things in the pipeline for the future. I keep pinching myself at what we have planned. Laura and John kept me sane through the whirlwind of 2020 and we spent many hours in rivers, and the Bristol Channel. They have become great friends of mine. Otters, thank you and I am super proud of you both. In this episode we discuss many different topics: mental health, eating disorders, abuse, loss of identity, guilt, not achieving our potential, longevity in swimming, being treated as a person (not a number), the beauty of swimming, sunrises, our epic swim from the Prince of Wales Bridge to Clevedon Pier, John's ice barrel challenge, ice miles, channel swims and the usual kit tips. As a group, we always swim within our abilities and we have a huge amount of experience between us. All decisions are made collectively and sensibly. The swims we discuss should not be attempted unless you are of high enough skill level, and have prepared fully. If you do want to attempt them, please do notify the coastguard of your intention (if in the Bristol Channel) and always prepare properly by researching your entry and exit points, as well as bail points along the way. We do discuss very personal matters and I do say sh!t once. Sorry mum. Big thank you as always to those people who supported us on our epic swim: Geoff, Dave and Brad - you are ace. "When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming." — Dory *please note that this was recorded in December 2020 when there were different covid restrictions*
March 15, 2021
In today's episode, I have a natter with my wonderful friend Kate Steels who is currently six swims into her Ice Sevens Challenge. Ice Sevens is the pinnacle of ice swimming: it consists of swimming one ice mile on every continent, of which one must be swum at zero degrees, and has only ever been completed by two people. Kate is on track to become Britain's first. Covid restricted Kate's swimming plans to reach South America in 2020 but it is very much on the cards for 2021 when the world opens back up again. Kate has secured sponsorship from Axa Insurance to complete her final swim. Read more about Kate's challenge here: https://selkieswim.com/blogs/news/kate-steels Kate has an unbelievable swimming CV (https://www.iceswimminghalloffame.com/steels-kate) but also gives a lot back to ice swimming through her work as the Chair of the IISA GB Board, and is secretary to the IISA Global Board, as well as competing herself. Kate was inducted into the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame in 2020. We have a chat about Kate's journey into outdoor swimming, stepping up to swimming the channel, first steps into ice swimming, building up to an ice mile, ice zero (an ice mile at under 1 degrees), ice swimming safely, rewarming, and three pieces of kit Kate recommends you own. Kate believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. We need people like Kate around us, otherwise we would miss out on so much. Thank you Kate for what you have done for me and for all of us on Team GB Ice Swimming. Your unwavering support of us when you had so much to deal with yourself is phenomenal. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
March 1, 2021
After Drop: Embrace it, Don't Fear it
We are trying something new on The Swim Tribe Podcast in this episode! Caroline is joined by fellow open water swimming coaches Laura Nesbitt (Outlaur Swim Coaching) and Fenwick Ridley (H2O Trails) to debunk common misconceptions about winter and ice swimming. We all have over 50 years of combined outdoor swimming experience and are seasoned ice swimmers with all of us having completed bucket list swims from ice miles, to marathon swims and to the English Channel. Caroline coaches at Cliff Lakes, near Tamworth; Laura coaches from Clevedon Marine Lake and Fenwick from Sweethope Lough, Northumberland providing a great geographical spread across England demonstrating the different conditions we experience. In an attempt to counteract incorrect information seen online, we provide you with a 'dos and don'ts' checklist to consider when stepping foot into the ice for the first time, which we hope will also act as a reminder for more seasoned swimmers to think about. In such a new, growing sport, it is essential for us to be role models to you and if we can change the approach of just one of you, we will be doing good in the community to improve safety. We discuss a number of topics such as having the correct spotter, swimming on your own, social media influence on outdoor / winter swimming, starting winter swimming in winter, listening to your own body, the effects of biological factors on swims such as periods and your build, the after drop, bad recoveries and essential kit. For more information on the coaches in this episode, please follow: Laura Nesbitt: @lauraemmakate / @outlaurswimcoaching Fenwick Ridley: @fenwickridley / @h2otrails Caroline Saxon: @cxs084 / @TheSwimTribePodcast
February 15, 2021
Training for Competitive Ice Swimming
Caroline chats to Nick Hungerford, a seasoned Ice Miler, competitive Ice Swimmer and member of the Serpentine Swimming Club. Nick races under IISA Australia, and has swum at numerous events that Caroline has attended. Nick is also a member of the IISA GB Board (IISA - International Ice Swimming Association). In this episode, we chat about Nick's job, all the cool places it has taken him, how he first started swimming outside, being a later life swimmer, ChillSwim, building up to an ice km and then onto an Ice Mile, how we train, different recovery techniques, importance of an experienced recovery team and bucket list swims! **Please note that this podcast was recorded in December 2020 and has some references to previous different lockdown measures. It also discusses ice miles. These are EXTREME ice swimming challenges, and both Nick and I trained for 3 years to work our way up to these distances. We also did them under supervision with trained professionals and it is paramount that you do not try this at home without trained, experienced support teams and the training / acclimatisation or the full required medical.**
January 25, 2021
Swimming Outside Saved My Life A Thousand Times Over
In this episode Caroline is joined by Zoë Forbes. We first met at my first ‘real life’ job after graduating and she has enriched my life ever since. We bonded over our mutual love for swimming and I finally, gently persuaded her to join me for an outdoor swim, In January! Straight in at the deep end, but she took to it like a duck to water. Zoë became a central character in our community, bringing her belly laughs and wicked sense of humour. In 2019, Zoë got the news that she had both cervical and ovarian cancer and has since gone on a monumental journey fighting this with humour, unbelievable courage and bravery. Her attitude to 2019 blew me away and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be able to swim with Zoë again, and hear her wonderful laugh float down the river. In this episode we discuss Zoë’s journey and what our beautiful, local swim tribe did to help her through. I hope that she will inspire you as much as she has inspired me. Topics we cover are: Shivering and after drops, swimgasms, Zoë’s first swim, Cancer, cold showers, our river swims, changing in cars, flashing in car parks and the beaver moon (yes, it is a real thing). At about 33 minutes in we go back again to chatting about some really heartfelt stuff: the support Zoë had during her chemotherapy and radiotherapy, counselling, community and friends. If you don’t want to listen to the whole pod, listen to this bit! We discuss the kindness of people, coping mechanisms - Wig of the week, stepping off the treadmill of life, being looked after, having a renewed vigour, baldness, laughing, isolating and shielding in Covid, meeting people at certain times in your lives, shared common goals and identities, brain freeze, the differential between water and air temperature and finding what kit works for you when swimming in the cold. *Important safety announcement: we discuss diving in. Please do not do this without the supervision of others, permission of lake owners if you are at a ticketed venue and also if you are not acclimatised. I spend the summer teaching people not to dive into cold water due to cold water shock. This is real, please do not do this without experts around you. Thank you* We do say a couple of b@llocks, sh!s and minor swears so apologies for this. We do not mean to offend, this is just us. Please note that this episode was recorded in December 2020 when there was no Lockdown 3.0 restricting travel.
January 11, 2021
From Wetsuits to Skins... From Penguin to Little Mushroom
Caroline has a chin wag with her good pal Neil Curtis. A lot of people have approached me over the years with ideas, but never have they really materialised into anything. From our first conversation, I knew Neil and I would get on like a house on fire and have loads of adventures together. Two years later, we have swum three lakes, three peaks style, swum around St Mary's, Scilly and had some daft adventures on rivers in the Midlands. Neil normally drags along the awesome Mrs Curtis along to join Mummy Sax (Caroline's mum) who will often both join us for a dunk. We discuss Neil's (arguably late) 'mid-life' crisis at 50, time management for parents, Alcatraz, Blind Dave Heeley, The Three Lakes, Scilly, Neil's progress in 2 years, going from wet suits to skins, where to find good sources of information online, our weird friendship, ice swimming, bums, boobs, and little mushrooms. Neil will give his tips on his three bits of kit... he has some niche ones! Thank you for your support in 2020 Neil, bum, Curtis. I appreciate it hugely thank you for checking in on me a lot, and being my weird friend. You are ace.
December 28, 2020
Never Push Yourself Too Far When Winter Swimming
Caroline has a catch up with Jo Jones, a fellow open water coach, channel swimmer, current record holder for the fastest Bristol Channel crossing from Penarth to Clevedon and 500m ice swimming champion. We discuss where it all started for us both and getting into swimming as kids, how you never stop learning, safety, pushing yourself too far, learning what works for you, ice miles, Russia, wetsuits, ear plugs and not comparing yourself to others. Even after all the years we have been swimming, you never stop learning. This was the first podcast I recorded and I want to thank Jo for giving me the motivation to do it. Her enthusiasm encouraged me to take the plunge and have a go. So a huge thank you.
December 18, 2020
Embarking On Your First Winter Swimming Season
Welcome to the first full episode of The Swim Tribe Podcast. Caroline has a chat with Tom Hawkes who is embarking on his first winter season after being exposed to the delights of winter dips at Tits to the Wind 2019. It has been a delight chatting to Tom and we talk about experiences of our first winter swimming seasons. We talk about how to embark on starting winter swimming, new friends, old friends, ice cream heads, mental heath, adventures we have been on and the communities that we are part of. We also discuss three bits of kit that Tom thinks all people who swim outside should invest in.
December 11, 2020
A Quick Introduction
A quick introduction to The Swim Tribe Podcast hosted by Caroline Saxon. Caroline is a swimmer from the West Midlands in England and lives in the most landlocked part of the UK. She lives and breathe swimming, and actively seeks out swimming spots in her local area to provide a reset from day to day life. When not working in her day job, she can be found either in a lake or a river; come rain or shine, summer or winter, swimming, dipping, laughing and eating cake with her swimming tribe. Caroline is a qualified open water swimming coach and has been teaching people to swim, and improve, outside for a number of years, as well as forming winter swimming club at her local lake. She has a wonderful community of people that she is part of and wants to share her story, as well as theirs, and have some laughs along the way. Caroline has been swimming outside for over 15 years and is an ex competitive pool and open water swimmer, having swum at every level, even representing Great Britain in lakes in her teens. As the current Great Britain’s ladies 1km ice swimming champion, she was selected in 2019 to be part of the Great Britain Ice Swimming Team and swam 1km in zero degree water in Murmansk, Russia in the Arctic Circle. This is a series of podcasts where Caroline speaks to many of her friends, who have anything from a few months of experience to multiple decades. They all swim for a number of reasons but have been included because at some point they have been an inspiration and enriched Caroline's experiences swimming outside, or inside in some cases. Caroline will be talking about all levels of adventure; from dipping in local spots to some bucket list swims that she and her friends have completed. This aims to provide you with a wide range of people geographically, all of whom have different experience. Please join the journey with us.
December 11, 2020