Swimming keeps me calm

Swimming keeps me calm
Here is Kimberley Leisure Centre’s member Zoe’s story. Read more to see her amazing transformation since being with us.

My Name is Zoë Attenborough I’m 23 years old I work a full-time job as a Civil Servant.


I was about 16/17 years old over weight, my mental health was not the greatest and I was very lazy. Having finished education and at that time working as an apprentice I was struggling to strike a work life balance and adjust to working life which would become the new norm.

Whenever I got stressed, worried or upset, which was often at the same time, I would find myself eating way too much and all the wrong stuff. I would just be constantly snacking otherwise known as grazing. It was a vicious circle of I’m unhappy so I’ll eat, then I look at myself because I’ve eaten too much and thus feeling even more unhappy so again would turn to food. I had no energy to want or do anything and was to put it light in a rut and miserable. I had tried quick fixes which only increased my despair. You just want these things to go away and go away with as little effort as possible. I was yet to learn that, anything that’s worthwhile doing takes a while.

Journey into This Girl Can SWIM

There was always something very calming and freeing about swimming even from a young age. I made some extra time for myself, at the time I thought if it’s too much I can always re-adjust so why not have a go and see what happens, there is no harm in trying.

I began initially to swim twice a week. Starting off with small adjustments to my routine I found helped ease me in to this new territory. Also meaning once I got home (which was usually late) I could eat and go to bed without having to have a shower and change at home. It’s the little positives.

This has brought about I think quite a calming and chilled out effect. It makes me feel quite refreshed in a morning so when I get to work I find I am a lot more perky than when I was not swimming previously. The calming effect the water has on me has also squashed a lot of my anxiety, sometimes the time in the pool helps me reflect and just de-clutter my mind for a while.

I have begun my journey into events. These days my fitness is through the roof compared to the old me and I feel like I’m developing in to a better person. (You can see a huge difference in my photos!) My mental health is so much better having found a way to channel things and work things out through exercise. I’ve become part of an amazing group of people, who without them would mean I’d not have done some of the races I have. They are an amazing bunch known as the Kimbo Specials! My eating habits are tons better, I sleep and wake better, all in all general life is better I feel like I’m truly living not just existing.

I think it’s important to remember you can achieve anything you put your mind to! Keep a look out for my next blog exploring my journey into events.

Do you want to start a journey like mine?

Join our This Girl Can Swim sessions at Kimberley Leisure Centre every Thursday 7 – 8pm and Bramcote Leisure Centre every Wednesday 7:45 – 8:30pm or Thursday 9:45 – 10:30am. For more information visit, https://www.lleisure.co.uk/get-active/this-girl-can-swim-ladies-only-swim/

Sessions are FREE to members. For non-members costs are as follows: £2.80 concessionary rate, £4 for Leisure Card holders and £4.60 for standard admission.

Steve’s fitness journey at Kimberley Leisure Centre