By: Blonde Two

Having safely (and quite coldly) reached the end of my second winter of outdoor swimming, I now feel qualified to deliver some sage advice on the topic of getting into cold, salty water in a tired and bemused state and emerging, approximately 3 minutes later in a wider awake and more euphoric state. Call it what you will, wild swimming, outdoor swimming, cold water swimming, the continuation of this type of water activity depends on a few character and behaviour traits. My name is Blonde Two, I am stubborn, and I am an outdoor swimmer… You will know you are an outdoor swimmer when…

  1. You say ‘yes’ to a 07:30 morning swim before looking out of the window to view the weather.
  2. You have to creep downstairs naked to find a swimming costume before you can get dressed.
  3. ‘Warm’ water is around 12 degrees, ‘tropical’ water is 16 degrees.
  4. The words ‘Polar’ and ‘Bear’ make you get into the water rather than out of it.
  5. You are not surprised when you emerge from the water with a body that matches your orange neoprene hat.
  6. Numb toes are normal toes.
  7. You can happily chat to a complete stranger whilst putting your knickers on (or taking them off!)
  8. You hear the question, ‘Is it cold?’ at least five times a week.
  9. You start shivering three hours after your swim.
  10. You can only go three days before that, ‘I must do it again’ urge strikes.

Do you recognise any of these symptoms? If so, I am afraid there is no hope for you… unless you try the cold water cure!

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