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Surviving Lockdown 2021 – Fiona

a woman smiling for the camera

We are celebrating how our community is using the 5 ways to well-being to get through lockdown (connect – be active – take notice – give – keep learning)

To share your story please drop us a message!

Next up is Fiona, regular swimmer at Pinkston.  Here is her story:

“When Lockdown 1.0 hit I realised that I’d never gone so long without swimming. I’ve always been a keen pool swimmer and a fair weather outdoor dipper. Every year I’d made a resolution to do more regular outdoor swimming but busyness meant weekends slipped by without me getting near a loch or the sea. When things are removed, you realise how important they are to you, so as soon as Pinkston opened in the spring, I became a regular with my pal Fiona Hollow, and it’s been a lifesaver for the Fionas!

During the pandemic my job has changed dramatically – instead of chasing round the country performing and speaking, I’ve found myself working from a desk/recording studio in my bedroom. I’m thankful to have regular work and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of adapting to a new situation, but life has definitely shrunk. Normally I’m pretty spontaneous, but I’ve found a new love of routine. Every morning at 7 I meet a couple of friends online to pray – often I have to drag myself out of bed, but after a coffee and some space to be thankful and connect, I’m ready for the day. I’m also part of a couple of creative WhatsApp groups – a weekly art challenge and a monthly writing group – those have forced me to be creative for me rather than for work. Fun stuff has been important too – my flatmate and I have instituted #TartyTuesday – basically we make a pie or a tart for dinner on a Tuesday – it’s silly, but it’s also quite competitive and eating together breaks up the monotony.

During the year I’ve thought a lot about the Stockdale Paradox. Stockdale was a US soldier who was held captive in the Vietnam War. In later life he was asked about why some prisoners survived and others didn’t, and he talked about needing to have a balance of optimism and reality. Too optimistic and you’d lose hope. Too pessimistic and you’d have no hope. For me, connection with others and God, and learning new things has been really helpful in keeping that balance.

We need to be brutally honest about the reality of what we’re in the middle of, but also retain hope that it will not always be like this. One day, I’ll be able to swim in lochs and seas again, but hopefully I’ll be back at Pinkston even sooner.”

To hear more from Fiona and Fiona Hollow make sure you take a listen to their podcast “Hollow and Substantial”


By Pinkston

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Our Start Kayaking sessions are all about getting you on the water and experiencing the joys of kayaking in a safe and fun way. These adult sessions are for anyone over the age of 16 who want to get on the water and learn the basics of kayaking with basic skills and challenges. We use our great sit on top kayaks meaning that we have the best platform for learning skills without the challenges or fears of ‘getting stuck’.

This session includes your British Canoeing Paddle Start Certificate.