A photograph of Loch Lomond under a blue sky with white, wispy clouds

Local woman took to open water swimming to avoid hearing damage at leisure centre

Facilities Local News

Since Helensburgh’s new leisure centre opened in September 2022, regular patrons will by now be accustomed to the regular shouty aquatic torture classes that take place within.

One local woman, who asked to be called H, decided against persevering with the new pool’s cauldron of noise and instead persevered with open water swimming during the winter for her fitness kick.

“Obviously, I joined the rush with everyone else when the new leisure centre opened.” H told our reporter. “But after a couple of visits I realised I was leaving more stressed than I’d arrived due to the incessant yelling from the instructors over the PA system. Throw in the constantly slamming locker and changing room doors and I was more likely to end up with a headache than a sense of wellbeing.”

Still wanting to swim, H decided to take drastic action and, despite the temperatures steadily dropping as winter approached, she set off over the hill for Loch Lomond. Finding a quiet spot, H plunged into the chilly waters for an invigorating swim in serene peace.

“The way I saw it, ” H added, “Hypothermia was easier to recover from than the tinnitus I was going to get from listening to someone shouting through a headset at people on submerged spin bikes.”

After recovering from the initial shock to the system, H challenged herself to keep up a regular routine of visits to Loch Lomond over the course of the winter and has now racked up an impressive number of open water swims.

“My friend and my husband have been coming with me and we discovered there’s a whole group of dedicated people who take every opportunity to jump in the loch for a swim.” H said, “If you can’t stand the noise in the leisure centre, I recommend giving it a go!”