I’ve said it many times here but I’ll say it again… you meet all sorts of fascinating people whilst swimming each day. So many people wish to stop and have a chat and it’s a genuine pleasure to encounter so many diverse individuals. What is particularly enjoyable is meeting and speaking with others swimmers, be they locals, visitors to the Island (happy grockles) or swimmers trying out a different beach from a few miles away. We all like to share stories and (let’s be honest here), share the bravado of cold water swimming and its absurdity.
The other week we met a very nice chap who shared with us his incredibly superb swimming tip. Here at Gurnard we are not exactly blessed with golden soft sand. The beach is stony and, when the tide recedes, positively rocky albeit they are only small, slippery boulders! Either way, getting into the water means a potentially painful hobble without swim shoes. We have watched many who have braved the sharp stones, wincing and jumping as they negotiate the awkward feeling underfoot whilst also facing the cold of the water and others who somehow tread straight over the pebbly bits to get straight in. Maybe it’s like walking on hot coals and it’s all a case of mind over matter? Or maybe we’re just a bit wimpy and choose to wear swim shoes in the summer and neoprene socks in the winter. Either way we do appreciate that some people do not want to swim with anything on their feet and so the problem is a bit of a conundrum as to how to get into the water without the pain experience.
Well worry no more as the chap we met recently had the answer. When we spoke to him to ask he explained that he couldn’t bear to walk over the stones to swim and definitely needed shoes to do so. However he absolutely didn’t want shoes whilst swimming. At this point we began to realise why the man was holding a brick with a piece of string on it. We watched as he waded into the lapping waves in his blue and white sliders holding the brick until thigh deep. He then took off the shoes, attached the string and lobbed the brick back on to the edge of the shore with the shoes attached. He then swam off leaving his semi submerged plastic sandals bobbing at the water’s edge secured by the brick. Genius.
Simple solutions for annoying problems.