When planning our WYLDING launch swim event we looked within the Instagram swim community to find the perfect illustrator to capture what cold water swimming felt like to us. We searched with three must haves in mind: female, swimmer, self employed. We discovered Fiona who hand painted our stunning event invitation and gloriously encapsulated the many emotions that a swim journey takes us through. The original A3 artwork hangs proudly in our offices in Stroud.
Thanks for being a part of this series Fiona, can you tell us a little about about yourself and your business?
Fiona Chivers, artist.
Do you have a daily wellbeing routine and if so what is it?
A calm 15/20 minute flowing yoga practice, followed by eggs, nuts, fruit and some really good coffee, followed by lots of screaming, shouting, singing and panicking about school shoes, packed lunches and PE kits.
Why did you start cold water swimming?
I have always loved being immersed in water, I probably have hyperactive tendencies and the water calms body and mind. It's a sensory pleasure. No question, I am a physical rather than cerebral being. At first I was terrified about swimming in the winter, encouraged by a great friend a group of us took tentatively to the water one Autumn several years ago and we have never looked back. This group has become my sea sisterhood, my river dipping companions, a safe space for compassionate conversations, support and a bucket load of belly laughs. I live for my Friday Swim group.
Can you share your first memories of water with us?
I grew in Oxfordshire and I spent my whole summer in the outdoor pool in Woodstock. Rain or shine my father would drop me off and we spent the whole day underwater.
Any favourite swimming spots?
I'm so spoilt for choice, Cornwall has so many hidden coves and where I live in South East Cornwall the beaches are quiet almost all year. Home is Lostwithiel, I can watch the tide come in from my house and it's a quick run down the hill for a bracing dip.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Kindness, strength, support and never feeling judged.