Sunday, February 18, 2018

How to get comfortable swimming in a new body of water | The Aqua Life

Six open water swim tips + the Rottnest is here!

I’m beyond excited because I’m days away from crossing off a bucket list item that I’ve wanted to do for a long time - but it’ll take a flight to Australia, three beavers and kiwi to pull it off!\

“What the heck are you talking about, Stephanie?!”

I’m glad you asked!

On February 24th I will be taking part in the Rottnest Channel Swim. You may have heard me talking about this over the past month. Check out our last blog to learn more about what the Rottnest swim is all about.

Our team - Three Beavers and a Kiwi - consists of me, two friends and my younger sister, Erica, who is an old pro at this. She has done this swim a total of 6 times!

Swimming is an incredible sport and I’ve been doing it from an early age. It all started when I received an invitation to a bring-your-friend-to-swim day. I loved it! It took me from being a sad, lonely girl in elementary school and opened my eyes to a whole new world.

As kids, Erica wanted to tag along with me at the pool. It didn’t take long for her to get bitten by the swimming bug, too.

Both Erica and I became part of the Hawkesbury Orca Swim Team.

I then began swimming competitively which I did all through high school and university and from there played water polo.

I’ve had so many great experiences in life because of that one invitation I accepted from a friend way back in elementary school.

And now it’s bring me one more - swimming the Rottnest Channel!

When I’m asked what it is I’m most excited about when it comes to this swim, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing. I think it’s every aspect of the overall experience - being out in a boat, swimming in the huge ocean with all the other participants and, of course, to be able to say, “I did it!”

I get a lot of different reactions when I tell people about Rottnest especially when I mention the distance I’ll be swimming  - but there are ways to make any swim more comfortable.

The idea of an open water swim, especially a long distance, might sound overwhelming at first but there are ways to ease into it.

Here are 6 of my top tips for a smoother journey into open water swimming:

1. Get comfortable swimming double the distance you aim to swim in your open water swim by practicing in the pool first.

2. Learn to sight with ease in the pool before heading to open water.

3. Paddle your swim first to get a good feel for water temperature, water colour, idea of the depth at different spots, currents and best places to start and land.

4. Force yourself to start out slow (you will be swimming faster than you think because of adrenaline) and concentrate on the sky, not the depth of the water.

5. Have a paddler follow you & wear a MyFloat.

6. Make a planned stop at the mid-point of your swim, turn on your back and enjoy the view of the sky while you take a little breather. Start again when you feel refreshed!

(Check out the video below for some tips I recorded over the summer in Nove Scotia!)

Want to follow our adventures?

Check out the Aqua Life Swim Academy’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and keep your eyes peeled for our #YOWSwimsRotto and #YOWinOz posts. Starting February 24, we’ll be running a 10 day giveaway of some unique Australian prizes we’ve picked up during our trip!

Pssst…. the grand prize for this contest is a year of FREE swim lessons. Don’t miss your chance to enter.

Happy swimming!

The following blog post Six open water swim tips + the Rottnest is here! is available on: http://www,

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The 2018 Rottnest Channel Swim is almost here!

I’m so excited to announce that my family and I are now just ONE MONTH away from leaving for Australia. On February 23rd, I’ll be swimming in my first ever Rottnest Channel Swim along with my sister Erica and two of our friends.

So, what the heck is that?!

The Rottnest Channel Swim is the world’s largest open water swim, with 2,500 participants expected this year. The 19.7 km swim takes place just off the west coast of Australia, between the Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. We’ll be participating as a four person team, called “Three Beavers and a Kiwi!”

Check out this video to meet my little sister, Erica. We go through how we both got into swimming and what we’re expecting heading into the swim on February 23!

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to explore Australia and to participate in such a cool event and bring my two youngest kids, Tate and Clara, along for the adventure. (And my amazing husband, Pat!)

Want to follow along with the Raineys as we head to Oz?

Keep an eye on the Aqua Life Swim Academy’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for our #YowSwimsRotto and the #YowInOz posts in the weeks leading up to and during our trip!

We will also be hosting a 10 day All-Things-Oz Facebook giveaway with a slew of neat Australian-exclusive prizes and one BIG grand prize of A YEAR OF FREE SWIM LESSONS. Click here to like us and follow us on  Facebook and Instagram!

Yeah, you read that right.

Want to find out more about the swim? Check out this great video from last year’s event:

The following post The 2018 Rottnest Channel Swim is almost here! was first published to:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Happy holidays from the Aqua Life!

Happy holidays from the Aqua Life family!

Happy holidays!

It’s that time of year when we sit back and reflect on the year, including the adventures we’ve embarked on at the Aqua Life and the amazing people who surround us. We just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who makes what we do possible.

To our students and their families, thank you for showing up and trusting us in the water. It’s such a joy and a privilege to be a part of your aquatic journey.

It’s been a somewhat challenging year as we’ve transitioned through several new pools. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being patient with us.

To our pools & location staff, thank you for allowing us to share your space! You make it possible for us to do what we do, and we so appreciate the extra mile you go to for us and our students every single day.

And to Ottawa as a whole, thanks for being such a great city to run a small business in! The community in this town is overwhelming and we are so grateful for the support we get from our clients and fellow businesses alike.

No matter what you’re celebrating this time of year, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday. And we look forward to seeing you back at the pool in the new year. (Regular lessons start up again on January 4, 2018)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The post Happy holidays from the Aqua Life family! was first seen on: The Aqua Life