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Speedo Says...

Introducing our guest blogger, Poppy Dinsey

Lifestyle blogger Poppy Dinsey talks about her love of swimming in the first installment of her Speedo guest blog entries.

It's a real honour to be asked to write for the Speedo blog and I hope to be able to share some of my swimming 'journey' with you all over the coming months. But before we just jump right in at the deep end (excuse the pun), I thought I’d introduce myself a bit first.


The key thing for me to point out straight away is that I'm not an elite swimmer - or even a particularly great swimmer - but I do love swimming. Whilst there are definitely days where I can eat like Phelps, I certainly can't swim like him. I'm your average swimmer who's trying to get better.


My swimming history


You see how deliriously happy I look in the picture above? That's because of swimming. Swimming is the only sport that makes me truly happy. I don't know if it's the freedom of the water or the memories of childhood swimming, but I definitely feel happiest when in a pool, lake or ocean. I'd probably splash about in a puddle if I could.


I swam a fair bit as a child and would obsessively swim in the sea over long summer holidays. This pic below is where I used to swim in Mallorca as a child...

But as I got older I became more, er, sedentary. I'd walk five steps to the car to just drive to the train to sit in an office, and so on. I also had some bad luck health-wise, which affected my neck very badly. Whilst I wasn't exactly desperate to take up rugby or judo, it was disheartening to be advised against the vast majority of sports. However, I was told by the doctors that I could swim – and more than just could, I should.


Around the same time, I attended the 2012 Olympic Games and watched some track events at the Olympic Stadium and canoe events at Eton Dorney.

Like a lot of people, I felt really inspired by what I saw at the Games. So much so in fact, that when I was finally discharged from hospital care, I signed up to do an open water swim event at Dorney Lake, the very place I'd seen all those medals contested the summer before.


In a moment of madness, I decided that one event wasn't enough of a challenge (despite not having swum in a pool for about 10 years, let alone 'outside'), so I also signed up for the Great North Swim and the Hampton Court Swim - the latter being a rather horrid 2.25 mile jaunt down the Thames. This gave me a somewhat terrifying goal, along with the motivation to dig out my cossie, sharpish.

Like a lot of people, I felt really inspired by what I saw at the Games. So much so in fact, that when I was finally discharged from hospital care, I signed up to do an open water swim event at Dorney Lake, the very place I'd seen all those medals contested the summer before.


In a moment of madness, I decided that one event wasn't enough of a challenge (despite not having swum in a pool for about 10 years, let alone 'outside'), so I also signed up for the Great North Swim and the Hampton Court Swim - the latter being a rather horrid 2.25 mile jaunt down the Thames. This gave me a somewhat terrifying goal, along with the motivation to dig out my cossie, sharpish.


Luckily, swimming outdoors is pretty hard to beat. These are just some of the places I splashed about in last year...


Result: I completed my three open water swims and raised nearly £4000 for charity in the process. And it's safe to say I've considered myself a swimmer ever since!


Do check back for my next post where I'll be talking about getting back into the pool after a long break. (Let's just say swimming wasn't my top priority over a very indulgent winter!)


Thanks for reading, Poppy.