I was astound. Just a few hours after a tiny swim in open sea my legs were almost unrecognizably thin. It was barely visible that I suffer from lymphedema.

Every since I first time saw the effect of open water swimming on my lymphedema legs, I have made an effort to incorporate open water swimming in my every day life during the summer months in Denmark. The effect on my lymphedema is unmistakable. That is why I at some point got to thinking: “Why not join others who are in the same situation as myself who also loves to swim and who also wish to better their lymphedema?”

And that was the beginning thoughts of the concept of “The Sealymphies” (and its Danish counterpart “Havlymferne”). The Sealymphies is a project where we with lymphedema have the opportunity to encourage and support each other to get swimming in open water – and at the same time encourage one another to participate in open water races all over Europe. In that way you, as a lymphie, are part of a swimming community that can relate to your own physical challenges as a result of lymphedema – and part of a community that encourages you to get swimming and that will join you at open water races.

Do not feel discouraged if you do not have any experience swimming in open water. It is never to late to start swimming, including swimming in open water. When I had my first open water race I had only swum 200 metres in open waters ahead of the race and I still managed to finish the race.

Do you have to sign up for open water races across Europe to join The Sealymphies? No, you certainly do not! You can also be part of the group to get inspiration to your own swimming training.

The overall idea with The Sealymphies is to

  • encourage and arrange individual and joined participation in open water races across Europe.
  • share advice on open water swimming and swimming in general, especially in relation to our lymphedemas.
  • share training programs for swimming and other things as inspiration to your own training.
  • inspire and encourage one another, so you get swimming.

In the bottom of this article you can read more about on how you join The Sealymphies.

Open water races

The participation in the Danish open water race around the Danish parlament, Christionsborg Castle, has become a steady summer tradition for me for the last 3 years. It stands as the ultimate goal to finish this race just after ending the summer holidays and just before a new year of work begins.

I think it is a fun challenge to be part of open water races and I love the idea of seeing new and exciting places when you join these races. And at the same time I love the effect it has on my lymphedema.

There are actually open water races across Europe most of the year. Down below you can download a schedule over the different races in the different countries. It is all up to you as individual sealymphie whether you want to join 0, 1, 2 or many open water races. It completely depends on what the individual lymphie wishes.

Open water-races in Europe (2018) – by countries

Open water-races in Europe (2018 – by dates

How to join the sealymphies

It is very easy to join The Sealymphies. Since there will be a lot of information sharing and arranging of participation in open water races, the primary forum will be the Facebook group “The Sealymphies – open water swimming for people with lymphedema”. You can apply for membership of the group here.

If you are not on Facebook, you can send an email to about joining The Sealymphies. Then you will receive emails on open water races, joint participation in races and different swim training related subjects.

See you in the sea!