A quote from the Minimalists “Once you’ve created something and tossed it into the world, it’s impossible to know how far the ripples will undulate.”
I saw this quote right after my very short, very fresh, early morning swim in the sea. This quote was relevant to me; to my new blog and also to my first winter swim. Sometimes I don’t put myself out there to the world. I am often worried about what people think. It can be difficult to get past the feeling of being judged, especially when you live in a small country town. I am trying to be braver now. It may help someone else do what they love no matter what people say. So, with that in mind, after our swim I put a photo on Instagram and for the rest of the day I was replying to all the comments. It is amazing how many people are interested in swimming in the sea during winter. I feel good about putting it out there. We might start a club, with all three of us.
Before now, I have had many, but brief thoughts about swimming in the ocean during winter. I just hadn’t got around to getting myself down to the beach and apart from the cold factor, it actually just seemed too difficult. Then, thankfully, I had a conversation with one of my neighbours, my ‘best buddy jetty jumping girlfriend’. She told me how her sister has been getting up at the break of dawn, jumping off a jetty and then swimming for 5-10 minutes and because of it, is feeling fantastic. The discussion with my ‘best buddy girlfriend’ was actually very short and she ended it with “I am going swimming off of the jetty in the morning and I know you will come too. By the way, it is really good for you”. I wasn’t that hard to convince. I needed the nudge.
I have been dabbling with cold exposure in the last 12 or so months. I have been fortunate enough to experience the joy and challenges of the “Whim Hof Method”. I went to a workshop run by a very lovely bloke called Kym Burls who lives in the big city closest to us. For those who haven’t heard of this method, it is a breathing technique followed by an ice bath. Kym went and trained with this dude called Whim Hof and brought the technique back home to Australia. I actually loved the first workshop that Kym ran, so much so, that when he ran another I took my sister and my brother with me. Although I still struggle with being disciplined with the breathing aspect, I do try and take a cold shower for about two minutes every day. Since winter has started that has been a challenge for me and some days are easier than others. So I figured, how hard can it be to swim in the sea on a cold winters’ day?
This morning at the jetty, in our nice little coastal town the temperature was about 13 degrees. I guess the water temperature is about the same. It was blowing a very strong north westerly which whipped the waves up around the jetty. The sea was tumultuous and not very inviting. You could almost surf it. It was stormy and lovely to look at but quite a different aspect once you got in.
This being the first time I attempted a swim in the winter sea I thought it was a good idea to set a minimum time to be in the water. Two minutes would be a good enough start. It is called, ‘working my way into it’. Well I did my two minutes and then got out. It was good. I am not lying, I promise. I really did enjoy it. When I got out I couldn’t feel the cold wind on my legs because I couldn’t actually feel my legs. Standing on the top of the jetty I did some warming exercises that Kym had taught me to get the blood flowing through my muscles again. My girlfriend, the initiator, was still in the water floating around in her element, absolutely enjoying herself. A mermaid in disguise? I aim to be like her next time.
Well we did toss our experience out into the world, our social media world. I am surprised how many people have shown interested in this. Lots of positive comments, lots of people who like the idea of it and from my more humorous friends I am getting videos of sharks swimming around jetties with “Jaws” music. Anyway, I am lining up again tomorrow to see if I can increase my time in the water and I am excited to see if anyone else will be there with us enjoying the winter sea.
Thanks again to one of my ‘best buddy girlfriends’ who initiated this. I have been recently trying to make time to do something for myself, my health and wellbeing. So to do this and spend some time with my girlfriend is a double bonus.
Would you come with me? I would love to hear from you.