My first time … as a winter swimmer

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Yesterday, sitting at my Mam place over Christmas Eve abundant and delicious dinner I asked my brother and his wife about his last experience upon winter swimmi ng, cause I’d learned form his FB they had become members of Rzeszów Walrus Club Sopelek (Rzeszów winter swimming club Icicle).  They just told me it was fun and invited me to join them the next day. I agreed – didn’t want them to think I’m coward. This morning I had a few moments when I wasn’t sure my decision was right but it was to late to change my mind.

At 11.30 a.m. it was about +5C and we started a warm-up. Some jogging, squats, swings, pushups and I felt sweat on my back.

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Many people gathered and we started to undress. Last time I did it outdoor was in hot August, by the lake. Now it seemed a bit crazy, but when you are surrounded by many people doing the same thing, it starts to look quite normal. Coming into cold water with gloved hands above water surface was much easier than I’d expected.

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We stood there and thin layer of  ice floated among us (I wanted to write floe but my English isn’t good enough to tell if I could name floe such a thin ice, so I wrote ice J). The hardest part happened some 20 seconds later. I began to feel increasing pain in toes, it was so intense I couldn’t stand it any more and had to get out of water. 2 minutes of running on a sandy beach and again into water.

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Similar feeling. I got out as one of the first and started to dry myself with a towel. It was funny – cold water acted as anesthesia and I didn’t feel my bottom when I was drying it. Two minutes later I regained feeling in toes, it was really nice to have them back in right place. To my big surprise I realized that the most experienced swimmers were still dipped.  Do they have other type of toes construction than mine? No, solution seems to be easier, at least some of them wore special shoos insulating feet form water.

After short and cold experience I felt great, returned home and took my family to the forest for 2 hour walking-jogging. It was the sportiest Christmas I’ve ever spent. We’ll go for next winter swimming this Sunday.

Ps. As you’ve probably noticed pictures above don’t quite fit description as they show real very cold winter with ice and snow. That’s because there were some technical problems with pictures I’d previously inserted and now I shifted them with the ones taken today i.e. 17 January 2016. And today weather is as it should be during winter.

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