My brother Neil had mentioned interest in the open water swims we have been doing this year. He doesn't have a wetsuit but thought he might come along for a shot. His son Ryan, my nephew, slightly hungover, also came along. Sue came along in a holding-the-coats capacity and perhaps to be there to call an ambulance if things turned out bad. Things, in fact, turned out great. Another day of fab weather really helped.
That hat by the way was a freebie from the Bike Coop when they ran the NYD Triathlon (way back) which we did a couple of times although never that seriously.
As we were approaching Gullane we passed these horses. Not a great photo I know but I put it here because they turned up later.
The weather was mostly blue skies although we could see a fog bank over Fife and there were moments when it threatened to get misty here.
Neil had worn his cuttin aboot the hoose (©Burnistoun) clothes anticipating leaping out the sea and changing into a loose warm outfit (in the ambulance).
It's funny to look at these and note the same hunched shoulders, the same postures, the same thinning hair. Neil and I don't spend a lot of time doing stuff together but we aren't really that different. I kept catching glimpses of my dad in both of us.
The water was REALLY cold. After less than 3 minutes feet were achingly sore and legs numb. We ran back up the beach. We then felt so exhilarated and by now warm (by comparison) that we went back and had a second go.
Now why would you want to do this? Well it is a challenge. And it's good to challenge yourself. I don't mean go to a spa and have warm pebbles laid on your lower back. That is a crock. I mean putting down the crisps and chocolate, getting off the couch and putting yourself in a bit of jeopardy. Go mountain biking or on a mini-adventure. Camp out somewhere. We have all but removed the struggle from modern life and are growing fat and complacent as a result. Sometimes in order to appreciate a plain drink of water or a slice of buttered bread (ahem low fat spread) you have to work up an appetite. Contemporary culture would suggest the answer is adding ingredients or fancy baking. I am very much of the opinion that you can improve the enjoyment of your dinner by going for a 20 mile run or a splash in the sea. Ok it doesn't have to be a channel swim to feel the benefit. The four of us today all feel massively different for that ten minutes of challenge (3 or 4 minutes in the water another 6 to get dry and changed) - it's like going on a fun-fair ride or doing a hard rock climb, or perhaps even being involved in a car crash. You can't deny the power of the experience. And it makes your dinner taste so much better. There will be a few dookers on the Prom directly after the Promathon race on the first. Bring a towel.
Mary's less preachy blog of today here.
(thanks to Mary for use of her photos and the waterproof camera)