Outdoor Swimming, Jayne Making a Splash
Jayne Ball has lived in Weymouth, Dorset for over 26 years. I met her through our mutual friend and model Emma. One of our first conversations was: “I want to buy a swimming costume from you, but I am going to wait until I have lost weight!” This made me quite sad that a woman, that loved swimming, was waiting to loose weight. I told her” Why wait Jayne, just get one, put it on and don’t wait, life is way too short and if I can put on a bikini and put myself out on social media so can you!”.
So she did and the story continues…
Mavis (marina) James, Jayne’s mother in law from her previous marriage, swims every day either in the sea or pool and is now 84. She encouraged Jayne to accompany her and swim in the sea, in the summer in Weymouth. Mavis learnt to swim in at school, St John’s School, Weymouth back over 70 years ago. I hope my grandson will get to learn to swim without arm bands this summer at school too.
So for many years Jayne swam from the Summer in May/June until Oct/Nov depending on the weather. After buying the Miss Janna Waves Costume, in 2020, she decided to carry this on, not stopping. Her husband Mark accompanies her every day, to make sure she is safe and is armed with a dry robe and hot drink. He records her swims with photos and is very proud of her.
The turning day for her mindset she told me was “Getting the Waves Swimsuit and Mark took a picture of me in it wearing a Xmas Hat and I posted it on Facebook. “ What was I waiting for ?” “I feel like it was a magic suit.” “Getting the cossie, helped me to loose the weight.” “I now have a better self image.” “I feel the best I have in years and my family and friends love to see the pictures, which I now post on social media on a regular basis.” Swimming in the sea with just the sky, the feel of the water is so mindful, gives me a buzz and the solitude helps me to think clearly.
Jayne joined the Blue Tits of Weymouth Bay outdoor swimming group and met Helene Frankham who is an admin for the group and now they swim together on a regular basis. The Blue Tits Weymouth Bay group has grown rapidly over the last few months from 200 to 900 members, the power of this activity and the benefits is wide reaching and beneficial to many in Weymouth. The Blue Tits Chill Swimmers Facebook page have lots of advice and guidance to read before you embark on outdoor swimming and my advice is to read up first. She even does moonlight swims describing them as just blissful and magical.
“So Proud and Liberated and not so conscious, wearing my woolly hat and gloves we now go for it on a daily basis.” Jayne said.
I asked her for advice for a new outdoor swimmer (maybe me!)
- Swim on a regular basis throughout the summer and build up to continuing throughout the year.
- Don’t stay in too long and the rule is for every degree the water is 1 min to swim. I looked up the sea temperature in Weymouth today 18/01/2022 and it was 10 degrees, the air temperature was 7. Therefore a swim of 10 mins or less would be the recommended time.
- Take someone with you.
- Wear the correct swimwear/wetsuit and head and hand coverings.
- Make sure you have the correct warming up gear and have a hot drink for when you get out.
“What now for the new liberated body confident Jayne I asked?” “Swim in a lake up Mount Snowden and a Break the Ice Challenge swim!” She replied. Wow just wow, is the same person who I convinced to just get that swimsuit on. “If it wasn’t for you Betty, I might not have had the courage to just do it, it has changed my life.
Mark is by my side for most of my swims recording it and supporting me and I would not be able to do it without him. I agreed and asked for a photo of him to be part of this amazing real life story.
All Photos provided by Jayne