It’s surprisingly warm weather at the moment (although I’m sure this happened last year too) but the days are drearily short. Thankfully Tuesday sees the big ‘Bump’ day when we screech to a ‘halt’ going away from the sun and start going towards it… well if you live in the Northern Hemisphere anyway! Yes, as of Tuesday 21st December at 1558…. SUMMER’S COMING! I have been trying to enthuse Karen that we’re almost there, almost turned the corner and that Winter Solstice is very close but for some reason she’s not taking it as a celebration of the return of summer yet?!
This is our second full winter of swimming all the way through and we seem to be making a meal of it this time. “Surely it wasn’t this bad last year” we keep saying. “We had more splashy fun last year”. “Why have I still not found a new swimsuit that fits properly?” etc. The reality is that it probably was as demanding last year as this and it’s just that we were giggling newbies who had set a daft challenge to swim daily until Christmas… and with no wetsuits. Of course we got to Christmas and just kept going, when you have shorter goals it can often feel more manageable and achievable and so we perhaps questioned things less. This year however we know what’s in store ahead of us post the festive season. We know that the first quarter of the year will go on and on…. and the water will absolutely NOT get warmer until late Spring. But we also know that we can do this, we can swim all year round whatever the weather and actually we wouldn’t want it any other way.
I’ve said it many times over the year, this cold water sea swimming lark really does get under your skin. If we don’t manage a daily swim, generally because we’re visiting family and being ‘real’ people, we begin to feel out of sorts. Swimming is absolutely part of our lives now and long may it continue. There is also a definite underlying fear that if we don’t go in the salty brine each day that we will dry up like little pieces of water starved seaweed, we have become driven to go in the sea by some sort of ancient evolutionary urge! Feeling out of sorts if you you don’t swim is something I’ve heard lots of fellow swimmers say too (so not just us being odd for a change!), we share an inbuilt connection to the water even if we do squeal and swear when we engage with it. Being part of this slightly bonkers but extremely friendly clan makes for a happy life, and all are welcome.
The beach has had a steady flow of bathers this week, the water has been crystal clear and calm, and it has certainly dropped under the sacred 10C, but despite the difficulties of another infection wave and a crazy world we are each trying to keep something positive going. It might be winter but it’s still lovely swimming.
Remember to watch out for the bump!