Sunday 25 February 2018

Wild man's mini mock epic in 20 minutes

Chilly winter water is a slight shock
Chilly winter water is a slight shock
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

The people who have just got out tell me that it's not too bad today. It's warmer than it was during the week. The sun was on it yesterday they say, so it's warmed up. I always tell people after I get out that it's not so bad. This is because after you've been in it it doesn't seem so bad. And also, what else are you going to say? They need all the encouragement they can get. It is much more daunting before you get in than afterwards, when you have conquered it. So you can afford to be magnanimous afterwards, with that sense of achievement in you.

I haven't been here in a few days. During the week you need the right balance between tides, traffic and toil to get here. I've been in the pool, outdoors but warm, so I am soft. You get soft very quickly. When I come every day I just walk in with no trepidation. But a few days away and it gets uninviting. Today it is cold and grey and indifferent and unwelcoming to me. It looks like a place for seals today. But anyway, get on with it. No point in thinking.

Walking in is starting to feel more like punishment these days, just a slight shock when you get in. Technically I can do much colder than this, but everything is relative, and in the here and now, this is getting a bit nippy. If you thought now about going right through the winter you would think it was impossible. How could you keep going when this gets way colder? But you just take it one swim at a time. And in fact it shouldn't get too much colder between now and Christmas. I still get surprised by the fact that the first quarter of the year is the worst bit.

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