We spent all our summers in our family holiday home in Rush

“We spent all our summers in our family holiday home in Rush, we grew up around the sea, but for some reason, I was the only one who never learnt how to swim properly. I was always very conscious about going into the sea while on holidays and I often just stayed out of it altogether. It only became an obvious issue when I travelled to Colombia with a friend. At the end of our trip, we went off to do this light snorkelling boat trip. Neither of us had any Spanish but there was this Argentinian couple who translated to us. They said the crew is saying that if you are not a comfortable swimmer you may want to take a flotation device. I thought to myself, well, I won’t go far from the boat anyway but safety first! I jumped into the sea and a minute later the boat was gone… and it didn’t come back for two hours! For two hours, I was freaked out and scared for my life. Only my friend was there, trying to hold me together while we waited impatiently for the boat to return. When we got home I promised myself that I would never let this happen again. At the start of this year, I decided to tackle my fears of swimming by setting a goal of competing in a triathlon. A few weeks later, there I was doing morning swimming lessons with my mom. She was there with me, every morning, minding her daughter and making sure she would not skip any classes. – I needed that! After many months of training in swimming pools, I graduated to the sea and eventually completed not one, but three triathlons. Besides that, I went on a holiday where I rode a Jetski, I free solo cliff jumped from over 10 meters, and I did not stay on the beach anymore – In the triathlon club I met this guy, he was a crappy swimmer as well so we bonded, he is my boyfriend now. I have to say this really renewed my love of the seaside and the need to protect one of our most fantastic resources, our coastline. When I joined Coca-Cola HBC just a year ago, I discovered their participation in Clean Coasts and I joined the Big Beach Clean straight away. I guess it is true, you really have to face your fears, because most of the great things are happening only a step out of your comfort zone.“

This post was highlighted by Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. Find out more about Coca-Cola’s participation in the Big Beach Clean 2019 and its commitment to creating a World Without Waste in the comments section.