Swimmer’s Story



Adelaide, South Australia

I would actively avoid swimming because I was never told how to use a tampon.

Early days of my period I would actively avoid swimming or beach days because I was never told how to use a tampon so was scared of them. Talking now with my mum, she was never told as a young girl either so it was never passed on. Battling with body issues on top of that, the water was a no go! 

Fast forward and I’m now working in the surf industry where our community is 99% men! Long days at the beach, often unplanned, isolated and sometimes without facilities. The pressure to perform and show off our product can be a lot, especially when I’m on my period. Bikinis and periods aren’t always fun, but sometimes there’s not a lot of option to be comfortable. A severe lack of bathrooms and last minute plans, you can see how trying to manage my period at work in this industry can be so difficult, and how easy a period can catch you totally unprepared.

Carrying heavy equipment where one day I want to be strong and independent, to then the next having to seek help because of cramps and back pain but no one knowing why. It seems to unwind all of the hard work put in to proving girls can do it by themselves too. The industry is making waves (literally) in bringing in more females but sometimes my period feels like it’s working alongside the stigmatism that females can’t do it as well as men… when really, periods should be celebrated and the limitations they cause should be better understood without having to stand on the beach and explain why I could carry my board yesterday, but not today.  

I do see a lot of hope. Take the start of my story… Once my mum and I started openly talking, it was amazing how much we could learn together. I only hope the same for my industry and sport. 

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