TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I grew up in Devon and loved the water from a young age, and it’s always been a huge part of my life. At the age of 15 I was on the British and English surf team and competed and travelled surfing for a decade or so. I’m not surfing so much these days (currently about 8 months pregnant and had my last surf at 22 weeks!) but I live by the coast in Cornwall and try to swim in the sea most days. A lot of my work revolves around protecting our oceans and promoting it’s wellbeing. I’m also a qualified instructor for surfing, SUP, open-water-swimming and yoga.
Sophie wears the Black Laura
WHAT IS RISE FIERCE ALL ABOUT ?
Rise Fierce is a cold-water community which empowers women through wild swimming and kinship. It began during an icy winter, several years ago, on the west coast of Ireland when I took a dip in the Atlantic Ocean with a few friends and no wetsuits. Two very chilly minutes later, I realised the transformative power of cold water on my body and mind, and the value of spending a few precious minutes each morning bobbing in the ocean with other women.
Since then Rise Fierce has grown in to a community of women swimming all over the UK, Ireland and further a field. I now regularly hosts Rise Fierce retreats – incorporating wild swimming, surfing, yoga and women’s circles – where I encourage other women to jump in and rise up.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANYONE WANTING TO GET INTO WILD SWIMMING?
The thing about wild swimming is it’s, err, wild. This means it can be deadly if you’re not prepared. Here’s a link to some safety tips to consider before you jump in: https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/
There’s another great blog about it here: https://straightlineswimming.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?
Research suggests that cold water swimming can improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of respiratory infections, and improve mood. Regardless of the science, a cold dip always makes me feel amazing, and most of all it’s fun! I think of it as adult playtime.
I’ve found one of the biggest benefits of wild swimming is the community you will meet. There’s something pretty magical about seeing the same shivering faces every morning throughout the year and having this shared experience of immersion.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEYOND NINE?
I have lived in Beyond Nine for my pregnancy, and I love that I’ll be able to wear it breastfeeding and beyond too. Laura is the most versatile piece in my maternity wardrobe, I can wear all my normal tops underneath it so I have lots of options as to whether I dress it up or down (although if I’m honest I wear it so often, it’s normally covered in mud from walking the dog. Dressed down is more my vibe!). I also love the new merino trousers, now my bump is getting quite big they are the ONLY comfy trousers I have, they’re warm and soft and look great with everything. I’d definitely recommend Beyond Nine to any pregnant friends.