For me there is no greater joy than swimming outdoors, it is this simple and ancient pleasure that I return to again and again in order to remain in touch with the natural world.

Some people pray at an alter, some people worship in a holy building, I go wild swimming. If I've had a bad day, or I'm stressed or just fighting against the strains and chaos of the modern world I just remind myself that somewhere close by is a pond, lake, river or sea that I can plunge into and forget about everything.

As I escape work I feel my pulse rise as I know that the water is calling me and upon sight I can feel my anticipation increase as I await that first rush of cold. People often say "Oh isn't it cold?" like that's something to be afraid of or a reason not to enjoy it, for me that is the best part, the feeling of being reborn once emerging from the water, of the cold water rushing over you and soothing you, of the natural world healing the aches and pains of 21st century urban life.

As I undress I can feel the soil and rocks between my toes, the warm air on my skin and that first cold embrace of the water as I wade in. The water pulses through my body and clears my mind of thoughts, stress and worries as I feel the sensation course through me I take a deep breath and plunge into the water. As I surface I can feel the water droplets running down my cheeks, taste the sweet fresh water on my lips and lean my head back and float looking up at the sky.

As I look to my right my little brother Jack carves slowly through the water and to my left my big brother Robbie comes up for air. As the sun breaks through the clouds I can feel the rays reflecting of the surface of the water and the lake imbues me with it's energy, as we smile at each other we dive into the water and swim out into the lake and the unknown beyond."