This morning after my run I thought I would go for a quick dip because it was such a glorious day. To many people, year around sea swimming is nuts but those are the people who have never done it. Swimming in the sea, even a quick dip, is like heroin. Once you get hooked, it’s hard to stop. If you do stop, like I did last year, it leaves you feeling hollowed out, less alive.
So this year I decided I would do it again. I did a few swims in October but as far as I know none yet in November though my friend C swears we did one at the start of the month.
So I went down to Garrarus, which was stunningly beautiful in the low winter sun. Quick as you like I was stripped off(I wore my swimsuit under my clothes for Super Girl-like efficiency) and running into the sea. Normally it takes me a while to get down but today I knew time was of the essence, so straight in with enough swearing to send all the herring to Wexford, fins over their fishy ears.
In cold weather I usually do 100 strokes but because of my cold I thought I’d just do 20. Of course I stayed for 50 because once you’re down the worse part is over. It’s easier the more regularly you do it.
Still, in a swim suit its best not to stay in too long, something that is surprisingly easy to do any time of year. Once you’re down you stop feeling the cold or anything for that matter. You know that you’ve overdone it when it takes you a day or two to warm up again. If you do it right though, like I hopefully did today, there is nothing like it. As for my cold, well, even after a quick dip the snot comes pouring out like a viscous Niagara. I splashed my face a few times to help it along. The one year I swam nearly all the time, I was never sick and I hardly ever felt cold. How nuts is that?
I ran up the beach, stripped off and got dressed like lightning. I had brought a fleece, a down jacket and Lemon and Ginger tea cut with fresh ginger. I felt so good, all pink and buzzy and alive. It’s the only way I have ever felt after a sea swim but I knew I shouldn’t linger, even in the sun, so I headed for the car.
On the road I stopped to say hello to my neighbour walking his dog. He informed me I was about to get pneumonia but I hadn’t felt as good in days. Anyway I tore home and dived into a super hot shower and here I am none the worse for wear..I hope. I guess we’ll know later…