Hi! I’m Mia; 28-year-old Dane, living in Paignton with my British/South African husband.
Fresh into the UK in 2010, I walked into the newly built Paignton Library and saw the sign from the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, advertising the Agatha Christie Sea Swim and decided this was my much-needed motivational call to get back into swimming again. Being fiercely competitive by nature, having something to train towards was just what I needed and the following January, I was back in the pool “full-time” training for the 1 mile Ocean Swim.
I have been in a pool since I can remember; my dad was of the stern belief that all kids should know how to swim and having your head under-water was all part of the package! Sceptical at first, I quickly adapted ‘like a fish to water’ and most of my family-holiday memories from my childhood surround the hotel swimming pool or the local beach.
I then spent 5 years living abroad – first in New Zealand, then Australia where being in the water is seemingly as natural as walking; the Australian squad representing their country on the pool decks around the world have an audience in their own nation that would put even football clubs in this country to envy.
After a year now in my local pool, I have met some great Brits who all share my passion for the water and – more importantly – the open water, who have all shared their experiences and tips with me.
Whilst the main focus of my training last year was getting the mileage in in the pool, this equally resulted the flare-up of an injury and caused me to re-think my strategy. At the time, I was devastated and felt the rug had been pulled from underneath me.
But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. So, after intense physiotherapy and a programme set up by a trainer at my gym, the main focus of my training has changed to quality over quantity; perfecting my stroke, improving my position and core strength in the water and doing lots (and I mean lots!) of ground work; kicking drills, drills with a kickboard, drills without a kickboard, drills to improve my stamina, drills to improve my breathing technique etc. etc.
Just this week, I have taken the next step to get some mileage ‘under my belt’ too (or my suit, should I say) and have joined a local swimming club who meets every weekend to swim programmes in a local pool. They are all such a lovely bunch and though they are (considerably) faster than me (for now) they are so supportive and a great motivation.
In the meantime, I am in the process of convincing two of my colleagues to join the swim too. With all this amazing weather we’ve been blessed with recently, this will surely work in my favour; how can you not be tempted to jump into the beautiful, sparkling, South Devon waters, when the sun beams at you like this?
You can support Mia at http://www.justgiving.com/Mia-Cara-Southey