Every 'body' is beautiful: The Sydney Skinny
On the 19th March 2017, people from all around Sydney (and further!) will gather for the annual Sydney Skinny swim at Cobblers Beach, Middle Head. The event, now in it's 5th year, is a great opportunity to break down body barriers and push your own boundaries.
This event is heaps of fun. Better still - I think it's great opportunity to do something adventurous that challenges your fears (which I learnt is essential to growth) but it's also a great chance to build greater self and body acceptance.
How many times have you avoided doing some fun like going to a party because you were too embarrassed by your body? How many things have you missed because you didn't feel beautiful, worthy or good enough...
I'm sure you can relate. I used to skip pool parties and miss events because I didn't feel comfortable in my body. I was sitting on the sidelines of my own life because I didn't have a bikini body.
And you know what?! It took me 10 long years to realise that I didn't need to have a bloody bikini body (whatever the hell that is!) to enjoy my own life. My fear of not being perfect was holding me back from so much... No one else seemed as concerned with my cellulite as I was...
So I drew a line in the sand - and decided that no longer was I going to put my life on hold until Iost weight, got toned, had a spray tan etc. Nup. I made a commitment to myself that I would start living now, and stopping worrying about what other people may think.
I think that is one of the reasons I like the Sydney Skinny so much. It's not about being nude. It's definitely not about being skinny (you're just skinny dipping)! It's about letting go of fear, doing something exciting and realising that your body is perfect just the way it is.
It's about taking on adventure and saying yes to life.
Not only will you have a really fun morning, but you can also raise money for a charity like one of the events charity partners such as Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and Foundations for Parks and Wildlife. Oh - and you can enter either the 300m or 900m event so even if you aren't a water baby, you'll get to be involved.
In my quest to find out more about this event, I got to have a chat to Sydney Skinny founder, author, TEDx speaker and all round great guy, Nigel Marsh.
Lyndi: So, what is the aim of the Sydney Skinny?
Nigel: To make the world a slightly nicer place , one swimmer at a time. I want it to be a permanent much looked forward to and much loved annual event that prompts people to concentrate on the good things in this life. As well as be the one day each year they are absolutely guaranteed to have a joyous morning out in the beautiful National Park on the shores of Sydney Harbour.
Lyndi: It sounds like a lot of fun! What is the main thing you want people to takeaway after the swim?
Nigel: A greater sense of gratitude and hope. It might seem a pretty grim cruel world sometimes but as long as there is one upright man and woman I believe there is hope. As a species we don't half have a habit of making a mess of things but just as we are often the problem in this world at the same time we are ALWAYS the solution. People are inherently good. This world is amazing. The gift of life is so very precious. The future is in our hands but sometimes we get caught up in it all and forget our blessings and our power to change things for the better. I want The Sydney Skinny to be a joyous circuit breaker that helps people get the best out of themselves and this world.
Lyndi: I love that positivity. So, if you could give one piece of advice to participants, what would it be?
Nigel: My wife says saunter don't run! I say make sure to enjoy every single minute of the occasion. Its such an inclusive supportive, kind and positive vibe but it can go in a blur and before you know it you're on the bus home. Take the time to savour being part of such a unique communal and positive event.
Lyndi: You say it's not a swim about nudity, so why is it in the nude?
Nigel: The event has NOTHING, literally nothing, to do with being seen or seeing people nude. But having to GET nude is what makes the event so very special. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. And for most of us going for a swim naked with thousands of other people isn't something we do very often!
I believe life expands or contracts in direct proportion to your courage. Yet so often we fall out of the habit of taking risks and our lives are poorer for it. The Sydney Skinny is a safe fun way of getting back in touch with your sense of adventure. Doing it helps people be more adventurous in other areas of their lives.
Lyndi: What is your best piece of advice for achieving better work-life balance.
Nigel: Set the time aside for some honest reflection. Think about the type of person you want to be, life you want to lead and legacy you want to leave. Too often people unwittingly let life just happen TO them. I passionately believe we have to take personal responsibility for designing the types of lives we we want. NOT leaving it to others - be that our parents, employers, the church , the government or worst of all the media. Don't try and live the life you think other people want you to. Take the time to work out what YOU want and then put all your energies into being the best version of you not a poor copy of someone else. 'Build your obituary not your CV' and 'Decide don't Slide' are my two of my favourite mottos.
What a legend and down right great guy...! You can find out more about Nigel here on his website nigelmarsh.com.
Are you up for this awesome challenge? Learn more and sign up to The Sydney Skinny via www.thesydneyskinny.com.au.
Watch Nigel's TEDx talk here:
Not sure? Here are what others have said about the event.
"Admittedly I was way out of my comfort zone, however, what an experience! It was exhilarating, empowering and an incredibly happy experience"
"Many shapes and sizes. A vast array of swimming ability. A plethora of reasons for being there. And one outcome - exhilaration!" PG
"I just didn't think I could do it and now I want to do it again! It was really a very joyful and empowering experience". EM
"As a first timer last year, I was a little nervous, but the sheer joy and innocence of the occasion took over almost immediately. It was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done." JF
“The only event I can participate in with the word 'skinny' in it" DF
Learn more and sign up to The Sydney Skinny via www.thesydneyskinny.com.au.