Today was COLD. For the first time since my swims up north, my legs ached as I waded in. A couple of swimmers were coming in as we were going out and a quick chat revealed that they’d been swimming since dawn (an hour and twenty minutes) and one of them was swimming skins (she’s training for the swim from Catalina).
Duly inspired not to be wimps by that short exchange, Angie and I then got in quickly. Colleen followed soon after. Our usual yipping and howling, singing, and whooping lasted a long time today. The cold bit into my hands and the back of my neck like it hasn’t for a while and my breath turned shallow as my body adjusted to the shock.
After a few minutes, the warmth came back, a heat spreading through my core like my own little fireplace. I felt good and remembered why I love to swim in cold water.
The green-gray water was energetic today, splashing my face as I resisted dunking, the wind spinning its cold around us. When I finally relented and put my head down for front crawl I had to get creative about breathing so I didn’t take in mouthfuls of salty water. Then those same waves that sloshed me on the way out, kindly boosted me along as I swam back in.
There was less of our usual chit-chat while changing, more flashing of random strangers as we unceremoniously wrestled out of our swim suits and into clothes as quickly as possible then fled to the warmth of our cars, heaters on full blast.