top of page
Search
  • Owain

How a bit of 'fucking cold' water made my life better...



When the final lockdown came to an end a mate of mine convinced me to try a little wild swimming. So, we popped down to a river swim spot I knew from childhood to give it a go.


Apparently, there is no need for a wet or swim suit...so a pair of swim shorts had to do.


I'd like to say I embraced the experience and dove in head first, but in fact my entry was slow and accompanied by every 'fucking' and 'bastarding' expletive my mind could conjure. Yet I made it in, just up to my chest on the first run.

When I got out, I felt incredible. A sense of achievement paired with a racing heart and the sensation of blood rushing to the surface of my skin...I was hooked.

Every week or so after that my mate and I would venture down for another dip. This went on as the days got shorter and colder. Although it was unarguably more difficult, doing it with regularity made all the difference - at least mentally.


I think January or February was probably the hardest. I admit we only went 1 or 2 times during each of these months.


Somehow, although still a pleasant experience, it lost its charm during the warmer months - perhaps the challenge wasn't as enticing. But now, the days begin to get colder again, submerging myself into the local river seems to have returned the same fantastic sensation I got the first time.


I'm not well read on the health benefits of cold water swimming, although there are plenty apparently. But I do know this, when I am regularly freezing my nuts off I find:

  • I generally get less stressed out about things

  • I have more energy

  • Big challenges in life don't seem so big any more

  • I'm generally calmer

For what it's worth, here is something I thoroughly recommend trying...

  1. Find a quiet, peaceful spot near a river, lake or by the sea.

  2. Get in the water - even if it's just your feet to start (but get fully in if you can) - let it run over your skin rather than a wetsuit or other layer.

  3. Feel it...like really concentrate on how it feels...I know this sounds a little 'out there' but just trust me - this is a great way to clear your mind.

  4. Stay in for as long as is comfortable.

  5. Get out, grab a flask of hot coffee/tea, wrap up warm and look out over the water you have just been in - consider what you have just embraced/achieved.

Note: Please be safe if you are going to try this. Lots of good advice on wild swimming safety can be found here.




26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page