Member Of The Month: Olive

Published on Monday, 20 September 2021 at 12:59:27 PM

For September, we're featuring loyal member Olive Monte.

Olive is a teacher and artist who visits Beatty Park every morning before the school day begin. She regularly tags us in beautiful photos of the outdoor pool in all sorts of conditions which we love sharing on Instagram.

We spoke to Olive about her routine and what motivates her to get in the pool no matter the weather.

What brings you to Beatty Park every day?

My love affair with Beatty Park finds its origins in outdoor lap swimming, but after a few years of coming I found yoga, and now adore that too.

I love the retro aesthetic of Beatty Park and its natural surrounds of greenery, massive Norfolk Island Pines and Moreton Bay fig trees which I like to see from the pool and the Club Room and Studio 1. Coming to early morning classes has invited me to observe the patterns and cycles of nature throughout the year, such as the sunrise and sunset, but ultimately I keep coming back for swimming and yoga because they are both very rejuvenating! For work I often have to pick up little (or sometimes very hefty!) kids at my school and being fitter has definitely helped me with that too! 

What's your fitness routine like?

My routine consists of doing as many yoga classes as I can outside of school hours, normally coupled with a swim either before or afterwards. I do a few BodyPump classes per week too because it has brought fast, noticeable results. Doing Pump has definitely helped me with yoga and swimming! Prior to going I could barely heave myself out of the pool, and some of those Vinyasa classes are quite tough! The results were noticeable when travelling too as I could suddenly lift heavy suitcases onto trains and flights unlike before.

How has swimming become such a big part of your life?

Swimming has become a big part of my life because it is the first ‘sport’ I found that I could ever do. 

I used to teach swimming while I was at uni and loved it. Definitely haven't ever been a competitive swimmer, nor sporty person at all for that matter, and my participation in team sports is nothing short of laughable. So I really like the solo nature of swimming. The predictable conditions, continual sound of breathing in water and repetition of laps is meditative. Add in a touch of sunshine and it’s just blissful.

I get my best ideas for school and art in the pool, probably because the rest of the world is tuned out.  I also like to share my love of swimming with others. I was particularly chuffed when after a decade of pestering, I finally convinced my 79 year old Nonna to swim with me at Beatty earlier this year. She loved it. 

How do you find the motivation to swim in rain, hail or shine?

I'm motivated to swim in all types of weather because the pool always excites me and reminds me of somewhere pleasant. On sunny, crisp days I imagine I am swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in Taormina, Sicily and on cold rainy days I pretend I am in London or Denmark. It’s quite fun. But on those hot, beautiful Perth spring and summer mornings I just bask in gratitude for where we actually live because I can’t imagine places much more beautiful! 

A sneak peek of a piece Olive is currently working on.

We love the photos you tag us in, is photography something you're passionate about?

I love making art in addition to my work as a school teacher. Often I glance up from the pool and am inspired by Beatty Park’s architecture, which reminds me of some of my favourite artists' work like the whimsical or stark structures in paintings by Shaun Tan, Jeffery Smart or David Hockney or the wild raggedness of Jeannie Baker's collages. One day I plan to do a painted series of Beatty Park because it has so much character and inspires me so much. That’s why I can’t resist taking photos of the pool sometimes, but the pictures never capture the vitality of the place. That needs to be experienced in person, ideally at 7am.

You can check out more of Olive's art via her Instagram.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more feel-good stories, and stay tuned for our next member feature.

Back to All News