My sons and I decided to do the Dip A Day in May to support Galway Simon but also to get my son’s dog, Freddie, used to the sea.
What motivated you to keep going throughout the month?
Doing it as a group. If I had done it by myself there would have been days where I might have not done the dip but as we were doing it as family we kept each other motivated.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during the challenge, and how did you overcome them?
The cold of the water, the wind and fitting in a dip every day. The month of May last year was very windy, I’d say 2 out 3 days it was very windy which meant the sea was rough making it harder to get in. Also, the water was very cold, or at least it felt that way for the first few days. But once you got into the water it wasn’t too bad. Having Freddie with us meant we had to do it as we wanted him to get used to the water. Fitting in a daily dip can be challenging when you are working – we used to go every evening after work – we would meet up in Salthill at 6.30 and do the dip before heading home.
Fintan's Dip a Day in May experience
What advice would you give to someone who is considering taking part in ‘Dip a Day in May’?
Just do it. While it is challenging doing it every day it is so worth it. You will feel completely energised and if you do it with friends or family it is a great thing to do together. We are all busy and don’t spend enough time with friends/family so having this as an excuse meant we spent more time together which was lovely. My main advice after you have done your dip is go straight home for a warm shower. I don’t care what anyone else says the sea is cold in May.
How did you involve friends and family in the challenge?
I did it with my two sons and one of my son’s dog, Freddie. We decided it would be something good to do together and help support Galway Simon. Also, while Freddie loved the beach he was afraid of the waves and wouldn’t go into the water. For the first 10 days we had to carry him in to the water and then he would swim straight out. Over the month he got used to the waves and was a real water dog by the end of the month.
We asked friends and family to sponsor us (well Freddie really) for doing the Dip. We used the iDonate page which made it very easy. People are very generous and we collected over €1,000 for Galway Simon which was fantastic.
What was your favourite ‘dip’ location during the challenge, and why?
We swam at Palmer’s Rock in Salthill (opposite Cocoa Café) as the beach was quiet and it is convenient to the car park.
What role did community play in your experience of the challenge?
We enjoyed seeing other people posting photos and messages about their “Dips” on the FB group. It keeps you going when you know you are part of a larger community of swimmers.
How has participating in the ‘Dip a Day in May’ challenge impacted your relationship with the sea and nature more broadly?
I’d love to say I became a daily swimmer as a result of doing the challenge but that’s not the case. I did continue swimming a few times a week up until late October but after that it is too cold for me. I will go swimming again this year once the weather improves from April but it won’t be daily. What it did do for me was to show me the importance of taking time out from our busy working weeks to do something with others, preferably outdoors.