“How cold can it be?” we asked as we approached the lake for the first time in weeks. Due to injury, illness and logistics it had been some time since we had been swimming together. Princess Fiona and Claire had decided that they were not doing cold stuff this year. Victoria and I had aspired to an ice mile but sadly it was not to be. Baking injuries will do that to you. So does flu, gastric problems and other weekend commitments. Still it will all be there next year too. There is no rush.
The water was 7 degrees. Too warm for an ice mile. But a large congregation had gathered. 8 of us in total at the lake for a swim. Victoria, Christian and I were sans wet suit. Heather, Julie, Grant were with wet suit. Sam had not even brought her swim suit. She had come to look only. Sadly Ali was too ill to swim but had come along for the show!
Secreted underneath her jumper however was a Manchester snow globe. We had gone in search of the snow globe once Victoria had told us that she had not bought it. It seemed a suitable gift for a specially dressed person on her special birthday. Needless to say it was beautifully wrapped in a Manchester newspaper and with the price still on it! Still that was not a surprise. Victoria had told us how much it was in the first place.
So without further ado we decided to enter the water. Regular readers will be aware that there is always in fact much ado about nothing. And so it was approximately an hour later when we were ready to take out first step. We knew it would be cold. We were scared. It may be worth mentioning at this point that I had lost 10kg (21lbs in old money) since my last entry. I knew I was going to feel the cold.
Christian was already in when we entered the water. He had submerged to his shoulders and went off for a swim. I bet Victoria (or maybe she bet me) that we could at least swim to the first buoy. And do you know, once you are in, it is fine. We did a couple of circuits of the buoys and then decided to get out as we had to drive. We soon realised when we were neither shivering or cold that we could have done longer than the 15 minutes we did. But who cares? It was exhilarating and we were back!
Sam and Ali returned from their ambulations around the lake and we had hot drinks and celebrated “being back!”.
The plan was to meet at 11am on Good Friday. Sam promised to bring her swim kit. Victoria sent apologies as she was going to be abroad. And on the day sadly Ali was poorly and decided not to come. It will still be there when you are better though!
And so it was on Good Friday that saw Sam, Princess Victoria and myself at the lake. Later than planned (midday not 11am) Christian had already been in and out. Princess Fiona (who you may recollect had sworn off the cold stuff!) said that as she had an ear infection she was going to do head up breast stroke.
We got into the water. It felt colder than the previous week but that may be due to the amount of faffage. 15 minutes we stood at waist height. “its the first time I have seen you shiver” Princess Fiona observed. I did not want to brag but I did have to say it was due to the 21lbs I had lost. But do you know once you are in – it is easy. We also noted that there had not been a swear word at all. And it was still 7 degrees. I swam 4 laps of the buoys (compared to three the previous week). Sam and Princess Fiona were not far behind. And once again we had done it.
A celebratory run around the lake finished the day off for Sam. Princess Fiona and I ate my home made brownies and drank hot drinks instead. After all, Princess Fiona was ill and I did not want to leave her on her own!
Sam joined us after her run and we had of course saved her a small piece of brownie.
You may wonder why we do it. I would say for the sociable. But surely it would be better to meet in a coffee shop or even the pub? Well it would certainly be warmer but I am not sure about being anymore fun! What better way to spend your Bank Holiday than partially dressed in the cold!
Easter Sunday though saw me as a Chilly No Mates (see what I did there) Well that is not strictly true as Kaz took pictures and you can see that I had two friends.
Kaz had to spend some time chasing the dogs away from my swim kit. You can see from the pictures that there are not many wee stations for dogs and they seem to be attracted to the bag. Or any push chair. A leg will be fine if nothing else!
Sunny Sands the venue. The sea was a balmy 8.3 degrees. It is funny how much difference 1.5 degrees makes when you are swimming. The weather was similar. A small breeze but what there was was very chilly indeed. I just swam for 15 minutes. We had parked in the hour limit in the harbour. But being in the sea makes me smile. There is a cycling saying “winter miles make summer smiles”. In swimming I can reverse that. “Winter smiles make summer miles”. It is so much easier if you are acclimatised. Plus it is exhilarating.