Why I Swim: Meg
Splash the Stigma is 2 weeks away! There’s still time to sign up and take on the virtual swim challenge to make a Splash for youth mental health! Sign up here.
We caught up with Meg, one of our lived experience speakers, and got the lowdown on why she’s taking part and how swimming helps her manage her wellbeing.
Why did you sign up to Splash the Stigma?
I used to think that I was a terrible swimmer, that I couldn’t swim and that it was embarrassing how slow I was; so I didn’t swim for a long time. Similarly, there was a point in my mental health journey where I thought recovery was not possible. And yet now, I swim regularly and I am recovered from an eating disorder. I wanted to sign up to Splash the Stigma to highlight that just because a thought (or a perceived stigma) exists doesn’t necessarily mean that it is true.
Ultimately, I hope to empower people to believe in themselves and their ability to get through challenging circumstances; whether that be swimming or mental health problems.
How does swimming/physical exercise help you manage your mental health?
Swimming is a meditative practice for me – all I think about is counting my strokes ‘1, 2, 3, breathe, 1, 2, 3, breathe’. This really helps me get out of my head and be really present in the moment.
Exercise also reminds me to be grateful for things that can often be taken for granted – such as my heart that is working and pumping oxygen throughout my body, my lungs that enable me to breathe, my limbs that can move in all different directions.
As a result, the obstacles I might be facing or the thing I was stressing about are no longer quite so scary because I feel calm and confident that I will get through it. Just one breath at a time.
In 3 words, tell us about some of those ‘good vibe’ feelings you have after a good swim?
Grateful, Revitalised, Unstoppable.
Where are your favourite places to swim?
I am a Northern Beaches girl and love to do the Manly to Shelly swim in the morning. Freshie and Fairlight are some of my other favourites!
Why is it important for you to raise funds for youth mental health?
Young people can often feel like they are alone when they are going through difficult challenges and so don’t seek help. I think that if we can create a supportive, safe environment for young people to learn about and explore their mental health from an early age then we are creating an opportunity for them to lead happier and healthier lives, not just in the present moment but for their futures too.
Join Meg and help make a difference in the lives of young people. Choose your own distance and take part in our virtual swim anywhere over 19th-21st Feb. Sign up to Splash the Stigma here.