‘This Girl Can – Suffolk’ Ambassador

Tereza uses our pool at Hadleigh – and she exlains why she moves more.

What motivates you to ‘Move More’?

I have a very active teenage son and want to feel confident to join him in some of his sporting interests and be able to keep up with him! Too my surprise, I was also diagnosed with a serious health condition and so moving more has become a very real necessity but equally a fuss free way to maintain my health. I am also passionate about encouraging women whatever their ability, confidence level, shape, age or background to love their bodies, get out there and try activities as there are now so many opportunities in an infinitely more supportive environment.


How does it make you feel when you are physically active?

It took me a long time to find the right activity that fitted with my current work and home life which I truly enjoyed. I always loved the after ‘high’ of exercise but starting it and doing it was often arduous and I would make a lot of effort and then give up, which I think many of us suffer from. Swimming is entirely different; I don’t knowingly feel it is hard work and I literally cannot wait to get into the water. There is also a lot to learn and always another challenge to keep me interested. I would encourage everyone to find an activity that they genuinely look forward to, it doesn’t have to be a traditional ‘sport’, all activity counts and you can keep mixing it up.


What is your favourite way to be active?

I love being in water and have always swum, but since lockdown was eased I started swimming 3 times a week either in the pool or in the sea and have set myself increasingly larger personal goals at my pace which I find works well for me. The pool allows me to practice my strokes, breathing and achieve distance, and in open water I have other goals which may be a landmark, a distance, a location, or it could just be a social swim with other people. Swimming is a perfect combination of being active and deeply relaxing at the same time. It is also very equalising and liberating.


What do you feel the benefits of being physically active are to you?

I have been interested in cold water immersion for 30 years but recently there has been more and more really exciting research about the benefits of being in cold water. I have had many personal gains through swimming and cold water immersion: achieving remission as far as my health was concerned, the regular ‘euphoria’ of being in cold water, and building an incredible amount of resilience and stamina which has helped me with the ups and downs of everyday life, and changed my approach to many things. I have also met lots of interesting new people and swum in some incredible places. Swimming has opened a door that I couldn’t have imagined just by dropping down to my local pool and just having a ‘dip’ at Felixstowe beach one cold and rainy morning.

Tereza Fairbairn

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