Jim Young Type 2 diabetic



A man for all seasons, Type 2 diabetic Jim Young swims off the

Welsh coast, some rain or shine, all year round. We ask him, why?


ot everyone Known

to locals as 'Jim the

Swim,' 66-year-old Jim

Young from Swansea

takes a dip in the sea

every day of the year. Many people ask

him why, but most people ask him, "is it

cold?". At least he's human and admits,

"It's freezing! What else can you expect

in mid-winter, in an easterly gale loaded

with sleet and snow!" He says he just

loves it, and has been doing it for the past

eight years with a short break after his

diagnosis of diabetes.

A trained nurse (now retired), Young

had read about the anti-obesity effects

of brown fat which may be stimulated by

cold. Before he retired Jim worked as a

research technician in molecular biology

in the genetics department of the medical

school at Swansea, and has a sneaking

suspicion that the release of endorphins

from simply surviving the cold and wild


newspaper coverage of

Jim Young's epic oceanic


seas may be one of the reasons why he

always feels uplifted following his daily


Although a slim, fit individual young

was was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

accompanied by raised cholesterol. He is

vegetarian and no longer owns a car. He

was an unlikely candidate for developing

diabetes but his father had late-onset

diabetes and became insulin-dependent.

Initially after diagnosis he found the

cold sea too daunting, discontinuing his

winter swimming for a year, then decided

to keep at it as the days shortened and

the weather worsened. The sea cooled

but this time Young's enthusiasm did not

and he kept on with his watery ritual and

remains a daily dipper.

He swims in Rotherslade Bay,

Langland, a 30-minute walk through

green fields and woods. Young insists,

"Whatever my diabetes throws at me

keeps me young and keeps me going. All

I need is a wild wave - and a towel to rub

me dry."

The impressionist painter Sisley

immortalised the large rock in Rotherslade

Bay in one of his paintings, and Young

pays his own homage with a photoblog,

Jim's World.


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