A little splash and a huge sigh of relief. Read how my Nivea Dare to Dip experience went!
For those of you who read my previous blog post Daring to Dip with Nivea you'll know I agreed to swim in Covent Garden last Saturday.
After publishing the pre-dip post, inevitably, everyone I knew found out about my dipping plans and after much questioning (you're doing WHAT now?) the general consensus was it was a bit bizarre but also very, very brave.
So that was it. It was set in stone. People knew (and threatened to come watch) and I couldn't back out.
On Saturday morning I trundled up to Covent Garden, clutching on to a coffee for dear life. All the way up I thought through different excuses as to why I couldn't take part and even considered ditching my swimmers, feigning I’d forgotten them. I was also secretly hoping Lucy would back down, but when I met her outside the tube station she looked scarily determined. She was nervous but backing out was obviously not an option.
As we made our way towards the piazza, the sense of impending doom I'd had all day evolved into absolute sheer terror.
There were so many tourists everywhere and as we turned the corner there it all was. A huge Nivea area with seats, changing rooms, DJs, a photography area and the infamous see-through tank. As I stood there accessing the situation, I felt a deep sense of panic. There were women already in the tank with hoards of people watching and taking photos!
In hindsight, the area looked absolutely fantastic and it was impressive how many people the spectacle had attracted.
As I was silently planning my escape, Lucy had already approached one of the Nivea ladies to confirm we were taking part. After coaxing me over like a small child, we registered for the dip. The Nivea staff were really lovely and encouraging - detailing everything that was involved and gently re-assuring us everything would be OK.
We were a bit early so we popped around the corner and had a quick drink. Usually I would never encourage drinking and dipping but did I mention the swimming in public part?
We headed back and found out we missed our allocated time (oops!) but they quickly rescheduled us. Aquabatic, the synchronised swimming act made famous by Britain’s Got Talent, were performing regularly during the day and we were lucky enough to catch their last performance. The girls were absolutely amazing and a definite crowd pleaser! They even inspired us to try a bit of underwater action.
When it was our time to get ready, we were shown the way to the changing rooms and by this point I was resigned to the fact this was pretty much happening. There was nowhere to escape. As fear turned to adrenaline, we made our way along with four other ladies. There were different ages, shapes and sizes, and there was a nice little sense of camaraderie as we headed up the stairs to the tank. One lovely lady had been planning to come with her friend but hadn't been able to make it at the last-minute so was dipping solo - very brave.
As we made to way to the top I peered over the ledge and could see hundreds of people cheering and waving, so with that Lucy and I looked at each other and bombed straight in.
The tank was smaller than expected but so warm. The great thing was we couldn't see the crowd, as there was padding around the tank at the top, unless we went underwater. It was loads of fun messing around with the others and it was lovely being in hot water on such a cold day. After treading water, doing a few flips and waves underwater (got to keep the fans happy!) we were told the ten minutes was up and after all those nerves, all that terror, and all that panic, I actually didn't want to get out.
It was incredibly liberating and both of us definitely got a little post-dip buzz.
It's the feeling of doing something brave, that scares the living daylights out of you, that instantly makes you feel amazing! It's not often you get the opportunity to do something like that, so as soon as it was finished we sat down, enjoyed a hot drink and a chat with the Nivea ladies, and gave ourselves a little pat on the back.
We got to keep our Nivea branded towels, which will come in very handy for the gym, and we were also received a goody bag each with full-size freebies including a Protect & Refresh Cooling Mist, Stress Protect Deodorant and In-Shower Moisturising Cleanser.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience and a fun day out. The build up to it was nerve-wracking to say the least but we were both so glad we did it!
With a good dose of encouragement from Nivea, and a pinch of courage, something so scary ended up being something I'm going to be proud of for a long while. It made me realise I need to do scary things every now because the feeling you get after is priceless!
Nivea will be holding more amazing events like this around the country so head over to the Nivea Facebook page to get involved.