I wasn’t planning on another post before the big swim on Saturday but I felt the need to share. I was a little too calm when I wrote my post on Tuesday night. I don’t think it had sunk in that I was actually doing such a big swim for me in four days time. However, by Wednesday evening it had.
I’d been for a short pool swim to loosen off a bit on Tuesday and my left shoulder had started to niggle. It sometimes does. I generally only breathe on my right which is the major cause. By Wednesday afternoon it was properly sore. I’m dosing myself up and applying heat but it’s still sore. I’m sure on the day I’ll just be able to painkiller myself up and the adrenaline will get me through but I’ve been starting to have proper doubts. To the point that I was getting a bit panicky today, particularly having read the route plan which highlighted where the particularly choppy bits might be. I’ve been distracted and a bit more shouty with the kids than normal.
My go-to solution to feeling like this is swimming, preferably outside. It always clears my head and puts a smile on my face. But I’d promised myself I’d save it until Saturday, I didn’t want to risk making my shoulder worse or tiring myself out. My bestest swimming buddy came up with the solution! Earlier in the day she’d jokingly suggested a skinny dip in the full harvest moon tonight. We don’t normally swim in the dark. I’m not really sure why. Probably a combination of not being brave enough, not having the opportunity and the fact it’d be a bit colder than normal. I was in such a foul mood I thought, sod it, lets do this.
Don’t panic we didn’t skinny dip, but we did have a dip. When we both pulled up in our cars at our usual spot we both had ridiculous grins on our faces, excited by what a ridiculous concept this seemed. It was drizzly and windy but that doesn’t usually put us off anyway. We didn’t have much time to spare so we didn’t bother with wetsuits, just our cozzies. It wasn’t as dark as we’d expected, the floodlights at the nearby sports field lit things up a bit so we could see the nearest buoy. That’s as far as we went, around a buoy and back, probably 50m at most. It was amazing! The complete zing of doing something neither of us had done before with the freezing cold water hitting our skin. My friend pretty much dived straight in, she doesn’t seem to feel much cold water shock. I was a bit more hesitant, I could feel my breath disappearing as soon as I got my shoulders in. I breastroked out to the buoy as I desperately tried to slow my breathing down, occasionally dipping my face in to get the shock out of the way. I managed about five full strokes of front crawl with my face in on the way back before I needed a breather but it had calmed down by the time I got back to our get out spot. And that was it, we both needed to scoot off and do other things. Cue hugs and laughter at how bonkers we both are for wanting to do this. And, of course the obligatory photo for evidence!
Needless to say our dip worked it’s magic and I’m feeling a whole lot calmer about Saturday again. I suspect we might be braving a few more dips in the dark too!