Hello all, and welcome to the Guardian's new swimming blog!
While running and cycling tend to be highly visible pursuits – you know the office cyclists and runners from the trainers and lycra stockpiled under the desk – swimming is a quieter, perhaps more reflective hobby. When I started asking around, it turned out many of my colleagues are passionate swimmers, but they don't shout about it. I even have a colleague who has swum the channel (she'll be telling us her story later this week).
We will be tackling everything from perfecting your stroke and completing your first epic open-water race to teaching your kids to swim – and even the odd adult too. We'll have top tips from professionals on how to stave off the boredom of 50 laps on a grey Monday morning, and odes to the joy of wild swimming in azure waters with dolphins flipping you the fin – as well as everything in between.
Swimming is also a subject redolent of nostalgia – not to mention chlorine. No one, surely, can get a whiff of that distinctive, nose-hair-shrivelling smell without being instantly transported back to their school days – to mildewed locker rooms and school holidays, filling in the endless summer days with yet another trip to the local pool. "No diving, no bombing, no heavy petting" – I can't be the only person who as a child thought that had something to do with not bringing your animals to the pool. Our regular blogger Jenny Landreth will be tackling the new rules of swimming and suggesting her own updated list we should follow.
And we very much want you to get involved. You can post your thoughts and suggestions below the line, tweet me at @katehelencarter or @lifeandstyle or, if you prefer, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a blog of your own, a favourite site or a subject you'd really like us to cover, please do get in touch – we do also hope to promote (and cross-post from) a wide range of swimming blogs.