Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Swim

Merry Christmas everyone!  This morning I picked up Michelle Yan and we headed out to GSL Marina where we met up with Jim Hubbard, Josh, and Jim's friend Mike and his son Logan.

I measured the water at 32.0° exactly, Jim had his measure 33 and Josh's read 34.  So I'll go with the average temp of 33°F (0.5°C).  It was definitely colder than it was in the afternoon two days ago.  Getting in was a little tougher but once I got immersed, I couldn't tell much of a difference.  This time I modified my normal lap.  Instead of swimming to the marina opening, I swam to the other side of the marina at the corner of the turn.  A total distance according to as 0.15 mile (a little over 250 yards).  Completed in 3:21

Panoramic view with me swimming towards the marina opening.
photo courtesy Jim Hubbard

Josh, Jim and Michelle, Mike and Logan got in and enjoyed the experience of the cold water. 
This was Michelle's and Mike's first time doing a winter swim with us.  I'm sure an experience never to forget!  Michelle mentioned that when she got out she looked all red like she was wearing a Santa Suit.  Ho! Ho! Ho!
Mike and son Logan, Gords, Josh, Jim and Michelle
All participate in the Christmas Eve Winter Swim at GSL
Water Temp - 33°F
photo courtesy Jim Hubbard

Michelle brought some warm soup and some breakfast burritos which hit the spot.  I wasn't able to partake until I could actually feel my hands.  I was shaking so much in the car, I was worried I'd spill it all over me.  The neoprene cap sure is a life saver.  Literally.  I was reading LoneSwimmer's blog post yesterday.  All of the info was stuff I heard before, except for the term AFTER DROP.  That sounds scary. 

Mmmmerry  Cccccchristmas! photo courtesy Jim Hubbard
To be honest, I don't notice the hyperventillating effect upon entering the water.  I'm able to slow down my stroke and breathe alternately.  I think I've gotten used to it.  However one thing that I don't think I can control is the numbness in my fingertips that remain numb for nearly a full day AFTER I get out.  That part sucks the most. If it was legal to wear neoprene gloves, I'd do this everyday.

One quote that a czech winter swimmer said in Jack Bright's documentary that particularly struck me this week was:   
"It's simple.  The human being tends to be lazy.  But with winter swimming, you have to face this weakness and overcome yourself and your own laziness."
True indeed.  That's EXACTLY why I do this.  It's overkill to train for the EC in this.  I do it to face weakness and overcome laziness, and enjoy the company of good friends.

Merry Christmas!

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