BBC Radio 4 Program: Wild Swimming

Check out the BBC Radio 4’s most recent Something Understood segment “Wild Swimming” which highlights outdoor swimming.

The program features a great quote from Annette Kellerman, a famous Australian distance swimmer who took on the English Channel in the early 1900’s. Here’s a more extended version I found online:

And why do I believe in swimming? To put it briefly, swimming is a pleasure and a benefit, a clean, cool, beautiful cheap thing we all from cats to kings can enjoy. The man who has not given himself completely to the sun and wind and cold sting of the waves will never know all meanings of life…

There is nothing more democratic than swimming. Bathing is a society event but swimming out beyond the surf line is just plain social. Every one is happy and young and funny. No one argues. No one scolds. There is no time and no place where one may so companionably play the fool and not be called one…

I learn much from people in the way they meet the unknown of life, and water is a great test. If they come to it bravely they’ve gone far along the best way. I am sure no adventurer nor discoverer ever lived who could not swim. Swimming cultivates imagination; the man with the most is he who can swim his solitary course night or day and forget a black earth full of people that push. This love of the unknown is the greatest of all the joys which swimming has for me.

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