Monday, May 19, 2014

Fourteen degrees, inside and out

My brother and I had a date to meet at an out-door pool for a swim today. It is a pool that sits alongside the ocean, it is filled with a mix of salt and fresh water, and it is heated. It is 125 metres long, so to swim a mile is only 12 lengths. That was the plan.

We arrived at 9am. The pool didn't open until noon. Hmmm. There we were, bathing suits and goggles in hand.

My brother suggested we could swim in the ocean. The ocean he assured me was 14 degrees and that was about the air temperature today so that seemed doable.

We headed for the beach change-rooms. Also not open until noon.

Off to the park bench to change as modestly as we could - it was starting to rain, so the beach was pretty deserted.

As we walked into the water it felt cool, but not too bad. Until I put my face and head in to take those first few strokes. Oh. My. God. It was cold and hard to catch my breath, or to breathe at all. Breast-stroke seemed the answer of the day and he and I headed out, breast-stroking and chatting about this and that.

He is used to swimming in the open water, this is my first time in water so cold.

After about 15 minutes we turned around and he headed off for shore. Me too. Front-crawl, face and head in the was quite effortless. Of course that may have been my first symptom of hypothermia!

He hit the beach first...I announced that it wasn't fair that being a slower swimmer actually meant I was in the water longer than he was, but there he was waiting for me on shore ready to wrap me up in my towel. Total swim time was around 25 minutes.

We quickly dressed, me inadvertently mooning the two little children digging in the sand dressed in matching yellow rain slickers. He produced a steaming mug of sweetened green tea. I have never loved him more.

It took me a few more cups of tea and a couple of hours before I felt my core body temperature return to normal, but I was proud of myself.

Old dog. Another new trick. And I was glad the swimming gods closed the pool and opened the ocean to me.

I think I have found a new hobby.

Better get that swim cap and some ear plugs.

It is going to be that kind of summer.

Sometimes life doesn't go as planned. Sometimes it is even better.

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