This past winter, I discovered the Outdoor Swimming Society’s wonderful website, I knew it was going to be challenging to decide which I enjoyed more: peursuing their website or actually swimming outside. This UK-based organization makes swimming outside—especially in very cold water lakes, rivers, pools, seas, and bays—look very very appealing. All the wool-hatted swimmers look like they are having so much fun in that freezing air and chilly water! (Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually August and they are faking it!)
The Outdoor Swimming Society website is not only full of inviting photographs of happy swimmers in outdoor swimming spots (mostly in the UK) but also excellent information on issues such as swim safety, cold-water acclimatization, swim events, some OSS gear (see my “imported” silicon cap in the photo) and links to many award-winning or award-worthy films on outdoor swimming. If you’ve read Roger Deakin’s Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain, you might be surprised to discover in Deakin’s wake dozens of similarly wonderful, personal, quirky, enticing, books about “wild swimming.” There are links and reviews of them on the OSS site.
And movies! You can stream (often for free) film( mostly documentary, often short) about wild swimmers and wild swimming. Click here to watch. A few of my favorites are Johanna Ice Swimmer, My Big White Thighs & Me, and The Litter Mermaid. One indie offering, A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim by British Rapper Frank “Ed Accura” Awuah, isn’t in wide release but check out the preview and get your local indie movie house to request a screening. A socially relevant and important film to help ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to enjoy and feel safe swimming.
The Outdoor Swimming Society—the organization and the website—appeals to a wide range of outdoor swimmers: wild-water swimmers, outdoor pool and lido swimmers, competitive swimmers, and anyone who love to dip or plunge or float in the gloriously liquidy part of our earth.
Get out there!