Thursday 27 July 2017

It's not a towel dress, it's a manly towel coat

Brriliant: As winter creeps in, morning swims are getting a little chillier, so a manly towel coat is the order of the day.
Brriliant: As winter creeps in, morning swims are getting a little chillier, so a manly towel coat is the order of the day.

I was watching Recruits on RTE thinking that I need a spell in the army, to make a man of me again. I'm at that parenthood phase in life, and its parenting two girls to boot, so basically I've gone quite soft. So I'm sitting there, on the couch like a marshmallow, and I'm watching these guys, and a girl, going through mud in the Glen of Imaal, and I'm thinking what a wimp I am. There was a time when I would have said that the army was a psychotic environment of masculinity gone mad, and that training people to kill is pretty inhumane. But they all seemed like such nice people, and all it was really was instilling a bit of discipline into them. And a bit of discipline is no harm, is it?

I'd like to think I am hardening up slightly. As it gets into winter (we can admit this among ourselves - It is winter) getting up at 5.30 to hop in the sea, essentially in the dark, is not for wimps. The sea is becoming a much more forbidding place now that the water isn't always calm and the sun doesn't always burst over Dublin Bay halfway through the swim. It's testing yourself to get in there in these conditions if you ask me. The last few times I've been in, I will admit to a bit of low-level anxiety. But I feel the fear and do it anyway.

Admittedly there seems to be loads of people doing it, and many of them are quite genteel looking women of a certain age. But still, I've convinced myself it's a manly thing to do. I even got stung by a jellyfish for the first time the other day. I say a jellyfish, I actually think I mean jellyfish (plural).

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