MY PROS AND CONS OF COLD WATER SWIMMING
My Pros and Cons of Cold Water Swimming
Idon’t have much in my life that is non negotiable, but there is one thing, and it is part of my daily routine, and the reason why I needed to live close to the sea. I consider a day without a dip in the freezing briny to be a day without purpose. On the days I’m not on my canal boat in London I get up and about at 6.30 to get my son off to school, a cheery wave and I race off to meet up with my cold water swimming group, The Deal Dolphins. When we first started up about 4 years ago, there were just the 5 of us, last year the pod had swollen to 25. We swim and bob about all year round (no wet suits), and of course we chat - a lot.
It’s all over and done by 8.20, when I rush home. Unloading the dishwasher means I can warm up with a few squats before I start Indytuting. There are lots of things to love about sea swimming, and a few things I don’t, so I thought I would share the pros and cons, just in case you were thinking of taking the plunge in your nearest icy pond.
1. My swimming group. Particularly our octogenarian member who is always the first to jump in especially when it's tipping with rain and a chilly 9 degrees putting us all to shame.
2. After 5 years I never stop marveling at the sea and the beauty of the sky.
3. The endorphins! I only like to swim when it really is cold. Under 13 degrees - otherwise it's all too soupy.
4. Sometimes someone turns up with a camping stove and coffee for us.
5. My kit. A snuggy Voited coat, a YuYu hot water bottle and some under water headphones when I want to go for a long swim.
1. Fish bumping into me (could be Jaws). And this summer there were a lot of jellies - the non-stinging Moon Jelly FIsh but pretty off-putting.
2. The Octogenarian throwing himself in when it really is too rough.
3. The North wind
4. The dog who peed on my Voited coat while I was in it. However, the owner was mortified and bought me Prosecco and flowers - so I'll take that.
BTW if you are a novice, acclimatise your body over time. Don’t think you can bob about for ages, a few minutes is ample - we do 1 minute per degree under 10 degrees but we've been doing it a whille. Build up over months. Maybe even start in summer, when the water is cold but not freezing. Always go with a friend, it’s safer. It is a fabulous sport for clearing your mind, and soothing the body. Bump start your experience by signing up to a session with our Wim Hof Teacher Graham, a man who has put 1000’s of people into the ice, and they all lived to tell the tale…..