“What is the best part of your new life in Geneva?”, was the most asked question by family and friends back home in the first few months after we moved here.  My answer…always, “the lake!”  

I don’t know why, but I absolutely love it. Every time I see it – which I have to do daily – it makes me smile.  Every time I see the jet I have an even bigger smile and wax lyrical about how much I love it!  I have to see the lake every day, whether just driving by, taking a coffee down there and enjoying the view, enjoying dinner and drinks at the water’s edge, watching my boys jumping on and off the paddleboard on long hot summer days, or cooling off with a dip.

It is not surprising then that the best thing to come out of lockdown for me was joining the ‘shuffling dippers’, a group of amazing ladies who wanted to learn about and enjoy cold water swimming.  Our goal was to get to Christmas and still be swimming and I am thrilled that on the 24th and 26th December I was swimming at the beach in Coppet, complete with Santa hat and loving life!  It was a different Christmas, away from family but what a way to do it.  And now my mission this year is to do the same again.

Since finding this group, I swim 3 to 5 times a week in the beautiful, clear and at times almost tropical coloured waters of Lake Geneva, surrounded by mountains – often snow capped…utter bliss!  Our 8.40am session straight after school drop off, always involves a coffee and a really good chat first.  Sometimes the chat turns into a therapy session – a release none of us knew we needed – but it is something that this shared experience has given us.

After the chat we submerge ourselves into the water, quite literally washing our worries away.  The mental health benefits of cold water swimming are well documented and I can personally vouch for the sense of calm it gives, the reduction in anxiety levels and the impact it has on starting each day in such a positive way.  

I have found a strength I didn’t know I had, as it isn’t always sunny, calm waters!  I have swum in torrential rain, snow, ice and wind that produces big, white tipped waves.  A year ago I would never have thought I could do it.  Cold water swimming for me has given me a new community of friends and a new challenge that has become one of the best parts of my life and I get to do it in my beloved lake!

The Hub Geneva