Adjusting (Week 1)

The weirdest thing about January 1st was not coming back from my swim and thinking about my blog. At first, it was freeing: I don’t have to write about it! I don’t have to take pictures! But then it became disconcerting. Chronically my daily swimming has come to feel like my job; not doing it felt like I didn’t even know who I was. I missed it.

It turns out I like chronicling. I don’t want to stop. But, the daily blogging was a grind. So, instead of daily posts, I thought I’d try weekly. So, here was my week in swimming:

January 1 (Sun): Water 54 degrees. Air temp, well I don’t know, but it was gorgeously sunny and warm. After weeks in gray, drippy England, returning to an even stormier bay, it felt like a dream to see everything saturated in so much sun on the first day of the year. There was a big crowd; all the regulars and lots of newbies or occasional swimmers for a New Year’s Day dip. But Sheila, Angie, and I stuck together for a slow, chatty, catch-up swim to the Little Tree. There were treats galore afterward. Jim even brought mimosas. 

January 2 (Mon): Water 51 degrees, air 46 degrees with a chilly wind and gray skies. It was very cold today: that 3-degree drop, lack of sun, and chilly wind made getting in and out very difficult and it took me hours to warm up. The water had a strange and beautiful green glow, nearly purple sometimes. Soft, rolling waves under a dark sky. There was a pretty big group, but Angie and I arrived late and swam with Sheila out to the little tree.

January 3 (Tues): For the first time today, I didn’t really want to go out even though I knew it would make me feel great and that it might be the best day in a while since a new storm is coming in tomorrow. One of my fears in not having the challenge of daily swimming is that won’t go even when I want to. Given a choice, I easily veer into choosing comfort, warmth, laziness. It seemed that might be the case this morning. But then Kim texted wondering if we were swimming and offering to pick me up and that was just the boost I needed to choose swimming. 

Water 50, air 50. Dramatic contrasts of blue sky and cloud; golden sun low on the horizon as we went out. The bay was rippling, but calm, silvery ribbons. Even though the water was colder, without that cold wind from yesterday, it felt warmer. When we got out, the sun was in full glory and warming up was easy. 

January 4 & 5 (Wed & Thur): My first two days of not swimming. It was a little sad and disconcerting. I felt like I was missing a limb or something. As a substitute, I plunged into the horse trough/cold pool that Kevin got during quarantine. In those days, he’d go from the cold plunge to the hot tub nearly every day. I thought it was a bit crazy. But, it turns out I love it! On the 4th, I stayed in for a very short time and the pool wasn’t quite full enough. On the 5th, it was full from all of the rain we got. I stayed in for 4 minutes and it was lovely. I loved the idea that I was floating in rainwater. 

January 6 (Fri): Water 51. Against the best advice from our fellow swimmers, Sheila and I went for a swim at the Bulb this morning. She had the idea of doing a weekly sunrise swim so today was week one’s sunrise. As a bonus, it was also the full moon set. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see, but I enjoyed the thought of the moon shining its light through the clouds upon us.

January 7 (Sat): As Angie, Kim, and I were driving home from my beautiful party, Sheila texted on her way home from the party to say she wished she’d suggested a swim. Arwen jumped in and said, let’s do it, and the next thing I knew, I was down at the bulb in my bathing suit, heading into choppy wild waters with Sheila and Arwen (Angie stayed on the beach and picked up trash). Water 51. 

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