Wednesday, 4 February 2015

joppa shocka

You'll have seen the photos on facebook. The majority conclusion was mental instability. I can see this, and yet the act came about in a perfectly reasonable manner when Mary realised she had to spend all weekend at a conference* and the only time to get an immersion was going to be Sunday evening. It wouldn't be nice, but then again it wouldn't be much colder or less pleasant than the usual Gullane dook, just darker.

The conference* was a Gestalt therapy weekend. Mary isn't very forthcoming about what goes on there and I think they probably swear you to secrecy like the magic circle or the masons, but I imagine they run about naked doing primal scream in the morning, break for lunch, and discuss it in the afternoon. That sort of thing.

So I was at the Borders XC while M was doing her bring-and-buy Gestalt class. I had been telling Steve and anyone who would listen I was going swimming later. Mary gets home and says she is tired and can't be bothered. I was until now prepared to do the feetdragging but had to swap rolls and tell Mary to buck her ideas up and we were to keep her weekly submergathon alive. I think M might be the only one who has done every week since Sept: I certainly haven't. 

So we jumped in the Berlingo and I suggested the pumping station at Joppa as we would be able to get the car near to the crimescene for a quick get-away. It was a good idea (we had been thinking non-specific Porty Prom) and the tide was right in which also helped. What didn't help was the water was absolutely Baltic. And we didn't go for a run prior. Most of our immersions have been following on from a run which gets your heart-rate up, your engine warm and your system firing. I think all that helps. There was no doubt that getting out a warm car, stripping off and walking into the sea at Joppa was NOT easy or pleasant. Muted screams and muffled curses. Dogwalkers looking askance. Not that the place was busy. Far too cold even for the local neds to hang and chill.

Mary had suggested we leave the wetsuits. Because we wouldn't be going for a swim, and it takes longer to get in and out of all that rubber than we would actually be in for. Just a quick in-and-out. Being a coward I put on my gloves, hood and socks (the Mexican Wrestler look) in case I stood on something unpleasant - like 3 feet of iced water. Despite this it was still unbearably cold. I got in as far as the first hurdle just over the knees but had to get back out and canter about the beach until my legs obeyed orders. Then back in. By this time Mary had submerged and was getting out. I waded back in and the water climbed over the second hurdle and, bacing myself, I squatted down till my head went under. The pain lasts only momentarily and soon, as you scurry out and dry yourself the comparative warmth is such that you instantly feel better. Back in the warm car and it feels like Summer. 

Name and shame time: at the the Promathon on the first, Yana said she went in to shoulder depth before hurrying out. I happened to be shooting video at the time and have a clear record of her walking into knee deep water squatting down and maybe getting the water up to her waist before she hurried out - which shows the way the cold can effect an otherwise rational person.

So Mary's unbroken record remains - once a week submerge from Sept. We intend continuing through the coldest months till Spring and Summer. Hope it warms up for the weekend.


  1. Thank God you kept the dream alive :-)

  2. hmmm I am having trouble with my sarcasm radar (sarkydar?)