This morning I went for one last swim with the Cold Water Addicts. A little snow still clung to the ground, but it was clear and beautiful. The mountains of the Olympic Peninsula across the Salish Sea rose up dramatically and, for the first time, I realized how tall they were. In the previous days, I couldn’t distinguish clouds from peaks.
As we got undressed, I chatted with Jan about what got her into swimming. She told me an amazing story of healing: from being in so much pain that she couldn’t walk onto the beach, to living pain-free thanks to daily cold water immersion. It was inspiring and made entering into the freezing water significantly easier today as I thought about the healing powers of this crystal-clear water.
My thermometer registered 48F, though it felt as cold as yesterday in my aching hands and feet. Nelson’s thermometer said 7C (which would make it more like 46F) so who knows which was right. It was cold anyway. The sun was shining brightly, though, and the wind wasn’t howling, so staying in was easier today. I swam back and forth a bit, soaking in the view, and got out after about fifteen minutes.
Afterward, I joined Jan and Robin for a warm-up walk. It was a stunningly beautiful morning for it; the bright sun, the impossibly clear sky and sea. We even saw a seal herding fish for her breakfast.