I’m beyond excited because I’m days away from crossing off a bucket list item that I’ve wanted to do for a long time - but it’ll take a flight to Australia, three beavers and kiwi to pull it off!\
“What the heck are you talking about, Stephanie?!”
I’m glad you asked!
On February 24th I will be taking part in the Rottnest Channel Swim. You may have heard me talking about this over the past month. Check out our last blog to learn more about what the Rottnest swim is all about.
Our team - Three Beavers and a Kiwi - consists of me, two friends and my younger sister, Erica, who is an old pro at this. She has done this swim a total of 6 times!
Swimming is an incredible sport and I’ve been doing it from an early age. It all started when I received an invitation to a bring-your-friend-to-swim day. I loved it! It took me from being a sad, lonely girl in elementary school and opened my eyes to a whole new world.
As kids, Erica wanted to tag along with me at the pool. It didn’t take long for her to get bitten by the swimming bug, too.
Both Erica and I became part of the Hawkesbury Orca Swim Team.
I then began swimming competitively which I did all through high school and university and from there played water polo.
I’ve had so many great experiences in life because of that one invitation I accepted from a friend way back in elementary school.
And now it’s bring me one more - swimming the Rottnest Channel!
When I’m asked what it is I’m most excited about when it comes to this swim, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing. I think it’s every aspect of the overall experience - being out in a boat, swimming in the huge ocean with all the other participants and, of course, to be able to say, “I did it!”
I get a lot of different reactions when I tell people about Rottnest especially when I mention the distance I’ll be swimming - but there are ways to make any swim more comfortable.
The idea of an open water swim, especially a long distance, might sound overwhelming at first but there are ways to ease into it.
Here are 6 of my top tips for a smoother journey into open water swimming:
1. Get comfortable swimming double the distance you aim to swim in your open water swim by practicing in the pool first.
2. Learn to sight with ease in the pool before heading to open water.
3. Paddle your swim first to get a good feel for water temperature, water colour, idea of the depth at different spots, currents and best places to start and land.
4. Force yourself to start out slow (you will be swimming faster than you think because of adrenaline) and concentrate on the sky, not the depth of the water.
5. Have a paddler follow you & wear a MyFloat.
6. Make a planned stop at the mid-point of your swim, turn on your back and enjoy the view of the sky while you take a little breather. Start again when you feel refreshed!
(Check out the video below for some tips I recorded over the summer in Nove Scotia!)
Want to follow our adventures?
Check out the Aqua Life Swim Academy’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and keep your eyes peeled for our #YOWSwimsRotto and #YOWinOz posts. Starting February 24, we’ll be running a 10 day giveaway of some unique Australian prizes we’ve picked up during our trip!
Pssst…. the grand prize for this contest is a year of FREE swim lessons. Don’t miss your chance to enter.
How to get comfortable swimming in a new body of water | The Aqua Life by Stephanie Rainey
via YouTube https://youtu.be/iq0M8xiIeUE
I’m so excited to announce that my family and I are now just ONE MONTH away from leaving for Australia. On February 23rd, I’ll be swimming in my first ever Rottnest Channel Swim along with my sister Erica and two of our friends.
So, what the heck is that?!
The Rottnest Channel Swim is the world’s largest open water swim, with 2,500 participants expected this year. The 19.7 km swim takes place just off the west coast of Australia, between the Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. We’ll be participating as a four person team, called “Three Beavers and a Kiwi!”
Check out this video to meet my little sister, Erica. We go through how we both got into swimming and what we’re expecting heading into the swim on February 23!
I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to explore Australia and to participate in such a cool event and bring my two youngest kids, Tate and Clara, along for the adventure. (And my amazing husband, Pat!)
Want to follow along with the Raineys as we head to Oz?
We will also be hosting a 10 day All-Things-Oz Facebook giveaway with a slew of neat Australian-exclusive prizes and one BIG grand prize of A YEAR OF FREE SWIM LESSONS. Click here to like us and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
Yeah, you read that right.
Want to find out more about the swim? Check out this great video from last year’s event:
Canadian Sisters Swim Rottnest Channel by Stephanie Rainey
via YouTube https://youtu.be/gr0gsQQXG8k
Welcome to the Holiday Inn Nepean by Stephanie Rainey
via YouTube https://youtu.be/FIAVnG0Qzg4
It’s that time of year when we sit back and reflect on the year, including the adventures we’ve embarked on at the Aqua Life and the amazing people who surround us. We just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who makes what we do possible.
To our students and their families, thank you for showing up and trusting us in the water. It’s such a joy and a privilege to be a part of your aquatic journey.
It’s been a somewhat challenging year as we’ve transitioned through several new pools. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being patient with us.
To our pools & location staff, thank you for allowing us to share your space! You make it possible for us to do what we do, and we so appreciate the extra mile you go to for us and our students every single day.
And to Ottawa as a whole, thanks for being such a great city to run a small business in! The community in this town is overwhelming and we are so grateful for the support we get from our clients and fellow businesses alike.
No matter what you’re celebrating this time of year, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday. And we look forward to seeing you back at the pool in the new year. (Regular lessons start up again on January 4, 2018)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Happy holidays from the Aqua Life! by Stephanie Rainey
via YouTube https://youtu.be/aXKuot5HN0A
Looking for something active to do with your kids after New Years? Maybe burn off some of that holiday energy?
Let’s get your kids learning in the pool!
Whether you’re looking to have some fun or learn new skills, the Aqua Life Swim Academy’s winter break intensive swim lessons are just what Santa ordered.
Why Winter Break Intensive Swim Lessons?
Since summer ended, we’ve had lots of families asking about how we can help prepare them for winter vacation. As fall wears on, kids get busy with school and other activities, and some fall out of practice with their swim skills.
Whether you’re planning to escape the snow this winter or not, there’s lots of reasons intensive swim lessons are ideal for so many families.
For starters, daily lessons make it easier to pick up where you leave off. Rather than trying to remember what they learned a week ago, material and techniques stay fresh in your child’s mind (and muscles!).
The frequency of our intensive swim lessons also helps to build a stronger relationship between the instructor and your child. Seeing each other everyday for a week helps them to connect and establish trust, which ultimately makes for better learning.
It’s also a great way to get the family out of the house during winter break. Imagine it: get up and get everyone moving, hit the pool for your lesson, and then you have the rest of the day to do as you please.
Plus, it’s a great way to burn off some of your kid’s cabin fever!
Winter Break Intensive Swim Lessons look like this:
The Aqua Life | Competitive Swim 101 by Stephanie Rainey
via YouTube https://youtu.be/cGLB1yEQf1k
Does your kid wear a swim cap during lessons? There are so many great reasons to wear one, from protecting your luscious locks to staying aerodynamic when you're in the water. Whatever the reason, swim caps can be troublesome - especially when you're trying to get one on a kid.
Check out the video for two straightforward ways to get that swim cap on!
Pull your hair back into a bun, ensuring it's all secured behind your head. Remember that you should be able to split the strap on your goggles to go on either side of your bun or ponytail, even when you have a swim cap on. Place your hair accordingly. Once your hair is secured, bow your torso forward with your swim cap in both hands. Align the front peak of the cap with your forward, then pull back from there to fit the rest of your head inside. Stand up and adjust!
With a friend:
Once your hair is secured, have a friend stand in front of you holding the back section of the swim cap. Grab the front portion with both hands and bow to align your head with the peak of the cap. Once you're in position, have your buddy pull the back of the cap over the rest of your head. Stand up and adjust.
This method works well for parents helping a child put on their swim cap, as it leaves the trickier part of stretching the cap over the head to the helper, rather than the wearer.
Does your child wear a swim cap to swim lessons? Share your tips and stories in the comments! And, we'd love for you to join us on Facebook and Twitter. Happy swimming!
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