Succumbing to the Cold (Day 341)

Yikes! I nearly forgot to write my blog today. I had an early swim with Angie, Sheila, and Kira. At the risk of sounding redundant (but isn’t that the way with this blog?), the light was captivating today. There’s just something about those early mornings. The clouds and sun in a game of hide and seek; the water and land alternately lit up and shrouded. It’s a wonderful spectacle to behold from the water. 

It was cold today—51. The water seems to be hovering in this 50-53 range, which, looking back on my blog, was also true last winter. While the water is holding at this temperature range, every day I experience it a little bit differently. Mostly, I find it easier to tolerate: I can stay in longer and it takes me less time to warm up afterward.

But, the thing that never gets easier is getting into the water. Each day is as hard as the first time. Each day on that nearly-naked walk from the circle and that wading into the icy water, I think: what the hell am I doing? It only lasts a couple of minutes and then I’m immersed body and soul in the exhilarating grips of the magical cold. But it’s strange that that part never gets easier. I feel like there’s a life lesson in there, something about how it often (always?) takes some amount of pain to break through to the places of pleasure and joy.

I don’t know, but I can say that howling, laughing, yipping, and shouting your way through the pain helps a lot. Doing it with friends is the best way to do it.

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