Just Keep Swimming

By Connie Ceuppens

This weekend we are heading off to Manchester Swim Expo, another great chance to get out of the office and meet more of our lovely customers.

There will be a different crowd attending than to NSR last weekend. Instead of lots of paddlers I’ll be meeting lots of swimmers, bikers and runners! As part of the customer service team here at Alpkit, it’s great to get out and meet customers involved in all different sports, it’s amazing how much you can learn just from having a chat. This is particularly important in customer service as we talk to customers via email and the phone everyday, so it’s great to meet people face to face.

This show is particularly interesting to me as I was a competitive club swimmer up to the age of eighteen and have more recently started to participate in some open water swimming. I much prefer it to the pool, even if it is a bit chillier!

My first open water experience was on a family holiday at Bala Lake in Wales. Me and my younger sister (also a swimmer) were challenged to swim across the lake and back again; about a mile in total. The prize was an ice cream, so obviously we accepted. We emerged slightly shivery but triumphant and I’ve been hooked ever since! I managed to get out a lot last summer; everything from participating in regular outdoor swim sessions, held by the local tri club to more relaxed dips in lakes and rivers further afield.

My first swims were done in my normal non-swimming wetsuit and I was surprised at how quickly my arms were getting tired, taking into account that I was used to trawling up and down a pool for a good few hours at a time. This all changed when I borrowed a friend’s swimming-specific wetsuit. I was amazed at the difference in flexibility and find they are more buoyant, making my swims much more enjoyable.I am looking to purchase my very own Lotic wetsuit for this summer's swimming adventures! Maybe it will even encourage me to get out whenitscolder! It's definitely worth the investment if you are looking to take up open water swimming.

I admit I am currently a summer outdoor swimmer, mainly sticking to the pool when it gets colder. I am however looking to get out more often, maybe even get myself entered in some events! The Manchester Swim Expo is a good way to get some good advice for myself and pass on my knowledge to others.

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