There comes a time when one has to decide “Am I in our am I out.”
When the water is so cold that your thermometer is reading below 5C and you really can’t tell what the temperature is, you have to wonder, why am I not getting out?
Today I decided that no matter what I would stay in the water for 10 minutes. I’ve been missing workouts as of late because of the weather and a bit of a bug , and have found depression slowly creeping in. Depression caused from both the psychological and physical impact of not working out. I always feel I am not doing enough, and when I miss workouts, I have a hard time forgiving myself, regardless the reason.
I could recite a million reasons as to why my planned split distance workout didn’t happen today but it won’t change anything, and no matter what I tell myself, it still all sounds like excuses to me. So when I left the pool today after a short sprint workout I decided then and there that there was no way I would not compete my 10 minute cold water swim today.
Ray picked my up at about 12:30 and I opted to go to Willows Beach as it’s a bit colder than Caddy Bay. It’s also a really pretty beach overlooking Mount Baker.
I was still wearing my swimsuit from my pool session, my hair hadn’t had a chance to dry, and my clothes were damp. I knew the longer I stood on the beach the harder it would be to get in the water. I slipped out of my clothes, made my way to the shore and quickly walked into the water up to my waist. I could feel the pins from the cold on my legs. Every little pebble on the sea floor felt like a tiny knife stabling my feet. I continued to walk along the shore line inching my way deeper into the water. Every now and again I stopped so I could feel the full affect of the cold or take the water temperature.
At a certain point I stopped, looked toward Mount Baker and said to myself “if you are in you need to get in.” I turned around and began swimming head up freestyle. The desire to run screaming up the beach when you entire body is immersed in the cold water can be overwhelming, but it has become familiar, and it is what I know I have to defeat.
I stopped swimming and walked for a while as I calmed my soul. When I was ready I swam some more, I dove forward putting my face in for a bit. The sense of panic overwhelmed me a gain, but I pushed on a bit further this time, knowing that every stroke forward helps my body prepare for a very long swim in this incredible body of water.
When I couldn’t stand it anymore I stopped and walked again. I had been in for close to 9 minutes now and could feel the pain from the cold throughout my body. My heart rate had slowed down and I started slurring a wee bit. It was time to think about getting out. I signaled to Ray who had been watching me from shore. It had been just over 9 minutes. I slowly starting making my way toward shore, making sure to keep my entire body under water as long as I could.
I was on the beach just under the 10 minute mark. I had managed to stay in 3 minutes longer than last time I was in the strait and it was a degree or 2 colder.