Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Early Season Swim

Wetsuit: Check

Five swimming caps: Check

Neoprene socks and gloves: Check

Large, steaming flask of hot chocolate: Check

Quick questioning to self: Do you definitely want to do this? Check

I scoffed on Saturday when the lake opened. March seemed almost unfeasible for the open water season to start and as much as I wanted to, common sense prevailed and I stayed warm and toasty in bed instead.

However, a keen (and bonkers) Nicky Yevko said she wanted to go and test the water and if she was going in damnit, I’d be going in too. I tried to convince a few more of the girls but only two of the most hardcore could be tempted. The four of us, it seems, were the only four people mad enough to make the midweek trip to Ellingham lake for a refreshing 14°C dip.

Surprisingly – and I’m not even pretending to be brave – it really wasn’t as bad as any of us expected. Having chosen to go the whole hog with every extremity covered in neoprene, I fared very well indeed. The fairly chunky gloves provided not just additional warmth, but a little bit of added resistance too for a bonus strength workout!

The swim was beautifully peaceful and a superb start to the day. I remembered that it is actually possible to truly enjoy swimming. You could tell it was a little colder than usual because when we stopped to have a chat, everybody was doing that slightly off pronunciation that comes with not being able to feel your lips.
Considering it was the first week in April though, we didn’t feel too cold. That was of course, until it was time to get out. Despite being covered head to toe in neoprene, I was still rather chilly and now had the added problem of trying to remove extra items with gloved hands. I transformed from an awesome early morning lake swimming neoprene ninja to a shivering fumbling lunatic in the space of just of a few minutes.

After nearly falling over several times whilst trying to peel off neoprene socks with barely functioning fingers, I tottered in an unstable manner straight to the hot shower to warm up.

First open water swim of the season: check.

1 comment:

  1. Impressive! Looks awesome - love swimming - I always get in the sea in England and experience the cold!