Everyone's Sea Swimming

My piece on Sea Swimming for the Gloss Magazine this year. You can read the full article here

Afric Marren, Owner, Vico Robes

As a child I was always the last to get into the water, a situation that only got worse as I got older and developed Raynauds. However, during the first lockdown I felt inspired by my family and friends to join them on their swims. I set myself small challenges with the aim of overcoming my inhibitions, and before I knew it, I was a year-round swimmer, totally hooked. Gone were the feelings of cold, raw panic, and anxiety. Even my Raynauds improved!

Not only have I been enjoying the physical benefits of sea swimming, but this new hobby also gave me an opportunity to do something creative. As swimming became  more and more prominent in my life,  I noted the importance of keeping warm before and after, particularly during the winter months. However, I found it challenging to find the gear that would keep me warm while staying in style! With lockdown in full force, I decided to indulge a long-held desire to develop and sell my own product online. And so, Vico Robes—named after Vico Road, home of some of my favourite swim spots—was born and, one year later, I have an online store selling Changing Robes, Towel Robes, and Dry Bags.

Having started the journey of sea swimming two years ago, going for a swim is almost a daily ritual for me now. Weather permitting, a typical day starts with a walk to the beach accompanied by our dog Daisy, followed by a few minutes swimming towards the rising sun, some ball throwing on the beach, the climb back up to the road, and finally a well-earned cup of coffee and croissant. I can’t think of a better start to the day!

Every morning brings a different sea, different sky and a different swim experience. Whether it’s a stunning sunrise or storm clouds on the horizon it’s a zen moment and a great feeling of being connected to nature. The physical effects are immediate and long lasting. As for the mental effects, the following words inspired by naturalist John Muir,  resonate…

“Into the sea I go, to ease my mind and soothe my soul!”

www.vicorobes.com  @vico_robe