Adulthood is a challenge. Financial demands and work pressure can bring about social anxiety that causes a disconnect with where some feel most comfortable – nature. “The childish joy of being outdoors”, as Calum Hudson puts it, is exactly what was missing from the Hudson’s brothers’ lives. Urban living had taken its toll and something needed to change; this saw the birth of the Wild Swimming Brothers, presented by General Tire.

 

 

A Change in Direction

The Hudson brothers grew up with the outdoors. A childhood in the Lake District meant hiking and river raft racing was on their doorstep. Entering adulthood and moving away from their home meant substituting nature for the fast-paced life of city living; a way of life that was effecting the brothers’ well being and sense of belonging.

Middle brother, Calum (29), craved that reconnection with the outdoors. That overwhelming desire hit Calum when he felt the full force of his parents splitting up and selling the family home in the Lake District. He had the revelation to go back to the roots of his childhood by swimming the Eden Valley with his brothers, Robbie (31) and Jack (26), to feel that connection once again.

“As I was drifting through life I was getting lost and moving further away from something eight-year-old Calum wouldn’t have been proud of. I realised how much that childhood meant to me, and I was like, this is the time I need to do something different.”

It was a reverse from London to the Lake District, getting his brothers to be part of the swim.

 

 

Swimming as a Team

Inspired by their late grandmother, grandma Wild, the brothers reunited in Cumbria to swim the Eden Valley – a valley stretching 140km. Younger brother, Jack, describes how their grandma played a huge part in their return to the outdoors which saw them escaping the routine of nine-to-five jobs and general urban living.

“If there wasn’t someone like grandma Wild in our lives, we wouldn’t have had the drive to do this”.

Armed with a wetsuit and the freedom of being in the water, this was the start of many swims the brothers did together and the release from city life that had been missing in their respective jobs.

 

Freedom from City Life

“It is a release getting out of the city, but it’s much deeper than that. You become much more in tune with your thinking and what you’re feeling”.

The liberation of being outdoors and open water swimming is something that Robbie says is a “sense of freedom that can not be replicated”. It’s the feeling of being connected with nature in the cold water which helps the brothers’ state of mind and general well being; a shared experience with those closest to them.

“It’s just a moment of you feeling you’re in the right place and that what you’re doing is good. This is what you’re supposed to be doing. Not only do I feel this, but I’m also connected to the two people who I know better than anyone else in the world and they feel it too”, Jack.

Greater Challenges

In typical brotherly style, the Hudson boys push one another to new limits.

Once the Eden Valley swim was ticked off, bigger and more challenging swims were around the corner. They’ve since swum in the Arctic, including swimming across the most powerful maelstrom in the world, as well as swimming from Europe to Asia.

Their love of the Scottish Highlands – where their grandmother was from – also saw them pay tribute to her by swimming the length of Loch Broom; a swim in memory of Mrs. Wild who was known as the Wild Lady of Loch Broom.

“I want to say a massive thank you to everyone for coming along and being involved in this weird, wonderful, odd adventure… It is exactly what Grandma would’ve wanted”, Calum.

 

What’s Next?

Both Jack and Calum live in London, whilst older brother, Robbie, works in Berlin.  Jack is a writer who has recently finished the book, Swim Wild; a story of the brothers’ ventures and how they reconnected with nature. Calum works as a sales manager and Robbie as an artist.

Their next challenge is to weather the freezing temperatures of the ice lakes in Slovakia and continue building the legacy of the Wild Swimming Brothers; a legacy of reconnecting with nature and breaking up the monotonous cycle of adulthood.

Watch the trailer for Swim Wild here: Presented By General Tire – Full Feature Coming Soon…