Still here. Nope I haven't been cryogenically frozen since my last update in December. I have taken up the temporary position of 'lake side, swim-spotter / supporter'...capturing the hypothermic journey of a 'shiver' of committed swimmers acclimatising to over-winter, open water swimming.
Not to be deterred by the autumn closure, at the end of September 2015, of most lakes up and down the U.K...the hardy outdoor bunch set the goal to swim over the winter at Stoney Cove (National Dive Centre) or in any other body of water they could sneak into.
Pretty much every Sunday you can find (and join!!) John, Alan, Mark White, Penny, Lee, Mark Birch, Jo, Phil, Jai and Keith enjoying the pleasure of a glacial lap of this stunning lake!
The fantastic photo (thank you , thank you) above is of Phil & Jo swimming in Loch Ness on the morning of February 20th 2016...just a few hours before they got married! Joining them for the icy immersion were Simon & Mel, Ian & Kathryn and Keith in his budgie smugglers!?! Naturally.
Unless you have been exiled to your cupboard under the stairs, with no internet access over these past few years...you could not have failed to notice the tide rising in the countless number of people, globally, flocking to open water swimming. And there is no longer such a thing as an-open-water-swimmer. No. Rather than try and explain it myself, I'll hand over to Naomi-Jane who recently summed it all up in an Outdoor Swimming Society post...
"Outdoor swimming is now a massive tribe with many sub tribes. It's quite difficult to explain to newbies and outsiders the difference in the way all these tribes see swimming. The problem has now been overcome, or at least attempted, by idel minds on OSS FB. Read it and ponder...
Open water swimmers - left passed the buoy, straight through the flags
Wild swimmers - left by the rocks, straight through the chasm
Winter swimmers - I've got a 4, what does your thermometer say?
Ice mile swimmers - is that thermometer ratified?
Channel swimmers - Attention, aux bateaux!
Scenic swimmers - want to try a piece of my cake?
Not very confident event swimmers - '...and then a triathlete swam right over me...'
Experienced event swimmers - '...and then some head-up breast stroker took my line...'
Masters swimmers - 12th in the long course, 1st in equal age
Newbie swimmers - what goggles does anyone recommend?
Old school swimmers - call yourself an outdoor swimmer, I've seen a picture of you in a wetsuit!
Skinny dippers - cake, no icing!
Swimmers visiting Scotland - f-f-f-fwuck it's cold!
OSS swimmers - it's all the same swimming man! Check out that moon man, the water is glowing..."
So there you have it. Which one are you?
Many of you know Sheddie Rob Jarvis. This amazing man is currently in training to complete a 2 way channel crossing in August 2017. His inspiration for this colossal challenge was a wonderful 47 year old women called Jacqui who has cystic fibrosis. Rob saw her teaching children to swim and life save at David Lloyd's, Cranmore. What was remarkable was, Jacqui had checked herself out of hospital so as not to let the children down, teach then go back to hospital!
Recently she was awarded an OBE for her services to the community.
The plan is to raise enough money to send her on a cruise in July as she has spent her whole life giving to others. Rob says that if we knew her we would be amazed at her positive attitude and kindness!
If you wish to give a little, you can at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/michelle-edinburgh
Right, get your diaries out. It's the last drop in swim session NEXT Friday 18th March. We then break for two weeks eating roast lamb, simnel cakes, hot cross buns and chocolate. We return on FRIDAY 8th APRIL to swim it all off. All details are on our website theswimshed.com
Here's to some warmer open water swims and a great Easter!