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