Swimming for sanity - lessons of resilience from a teenager in isolation

Written by Guest User

Here at Pioneera, we’re in the privileged position of being able to share stories we think our community would benefit from. And this week we have one from an unusual source - our founder’s 14-year-old niece!

Madi Gosbell from Sydney has been in self-isolation for almost two weeks after being identified as a “close contact” to someone who had tested positive for Covid at her school. This was quite a shock for everyone and caused Madi and her family to immediately take action to keep Madi, themselves and their community safe.

What is so impressive about this story is that once Madi got over the initial shock, she took positive action to help herself through this.

“I was quite emotional to start with even though I knew it would be OK”

Madi decided to set herself a goal during isolation. She is fortunate enough to have a pool at home, and wanted to swim every day. The family started calling it “swimming for sanity”, and her mum, Camille, went out every day and took photos to capture her achieving her goal.

“Some days I needed to wear my full winter coat, it was so cold! The pool was 14 degrees, but Madi kept on swimming!”, Camille laughed.

Madi didn’t realise how important this goal was, until one day she couldn’t swim at her normal time. This interrupted her achieving her goal and she was surprised that it made her upset.

“It has been good to have something to do as there is a lot I can’t do, and it’s the closest to my normal everyday life”.

Unbeknownst to Madi, her daily swim was her way of keeping control of her life and her time when everything else seemed to be out of her control.

The surprise for her family was that through this goal, Madi felt less isolated. Swimming every day through winter is a challenging goal, regardless of whether you’re in isolation or not. It made Madi feel like she’d really “achieved something”.

“I feel like this allows me to use time doing something that I enjoy, so less time being alone and isolated”.

“This has been a good lesson for me, as I don’t really set goals and deadlines, but now I feel more capable. I didn’t realise this [daily swimming] was important until I heard my mum talking about it, it felt natural to me. Now I know I’m more capable than I thought,” said Madi. 

So if you’re feeling like your life is out of your control right now, take a leaf out of Madi’s book and set yourself a goal to work towards. Even just a few minutes each day is a simple step towards a great achievement. This can help your mental health, and goes a long way towards building resilience to thrive in tough times.

Thanks for sharing your story, Madi!

Check out the full interview below:



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