The more I think about wild swimming - and let’s face it, if you’re an adult who reads newspapers, or indeed, has any friends at all, you’re likely to come across references to wild swimming and cold water swimming almost daily - the more I think that there are some real parallels with what happens to our Moot customers.
I know that at first glance there seems to be little that might be similar about the experiences of surrendering your warm self to a potentially glacial open body of water, and buying fancy underwear, but bear with me.
There are hundreds, no, thousands of cold water swimming advocates who will tell you that it is hugely beneficial for their wellbeing and mental health in general. It makes them feel sparky, strong, capable and alive. The extreme stress that the human body, a tropical animal, is put under when it is plunged into the low teens or even single digit degree temperatures, creates a numbing and a calm which eradicates the other anxieties that may be clanging about in your headspace.
Combine this with the fact that in order to partake in this pastime, you have to be out and about in natural spaces, and often with likeminded people who will huddle together and eat cake afterwards, and you have a recipe for feeling good.
The difficulty of getting in gives way to a glow, a ‘high’, a buzz that lasts for hours and becomes a part of you, an identifier. You’re a wild swimmer. As Simon Griffiths from Outdoor Swimmer Magazine claims; “Swimming is not just something you do. Being a swimmer is something that you are."
With Moot, we can trace a similar psychological benefit pattern for many of our customers who write to us and tell us about how they found us and what becoming a Moot wearer has given to them. Like cold open water swimming, it is hard to get in. It takes a bit of bravery. It is not easy to turn away from the comfort of a 'vanilla' unquestioning existence, where you are never going to raise an eyebrow of judgement. It requires a bit of steel.
But once you are in, it is lovely! You feel free. You are doing something positive and allowing yourself to feel really good about your body, your choices and your freedom. You get a definite afterglow.
There is always a greater sense of achievement when we face some sort of difficulty and still do the thing anyway. We understand that men who buy Moot, each and every one, have done this. They have made a choice for themselves that goes against the easy status quo and in doing so, they have opened the possibility of being judged by someone less open-minded. It’s an action that requires guts.
The feedback that we get from customers who do take the plunge is always so wonderful to read. Quite literally, lives are changed. Relationships with partners and with selves are strengthened and nourished. Fun returns. Fears about being ‘wrong’ subside and the realisation that this is just a tiny choice in one tiny area of your own personal life that has nothing to do with anyone else edges happily back in to reframe things and everything just feels so much better.
We can’t claim that there will be a load of people to cheer for you, wrap you in a DryRobe and give you cake after you have decided to take the plunge and honour your body with Moot, but we always cheer here at Moot HQ when we get a great review, or a lovely email, and anyway, you can go for cake in your beautiful new undies and your big new grin.