Winter swimming- two words I never thought I would put together let alone do after swimming in the balmy waters of Loch Lomond in June and almost being dragged out of the water so the Vigour team could get home before dark.
Thanks to the kind words from John Clark 'just man up and do it' and the enthusiasm of Robert Hamilton it was off to Pilmuir Quarry for the first winter swim on the 1st of November!
I was told there are plenty of health benefits to swimming in cold water- instant vasectomy and being able to join a choir as a Countertenor ( originally performing roles for castratos.....). Seriously it has benefits to the cardiovascular system, mood disorders ( great for me as one of life's depressives 😢) and raises the metabolism especially good for dealing with the west of Scotland sugar cravings!
After a wee cycle along the old A77 it was time to get the wetsuit on ( and thermals under the wet suit ) and neoprene gloves, hat and booties. I do like a bit of neoprene.
After the safety talk from Robert- get in and if you feel too cold it's too late..... 18 brave souls got into Pilmuir Quarry on a clear morning!
Water temperature was 12 degrees on the 'Hamilton' scale ( 10 on centigrade scale).
Above shows 'The Hamilton water temperature scale'
It wasn't as cold as expected but it did take a couple of minutes to get the breathing going. The ice cream headache was short lived and it was off for a slow ( any other type!) lap of Pilmuir Quarry. The biggest problem was the gloves. They felt too heavy and my pipe cleaner arms were struggling to lift the gloves out of the water!
All too quickly (😂) the lap was done. It was brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed the swim. Next time I'll try without the gloves.
The following is a quote from the open water swimming society:
“I’m all for encouraging 'the occasional off-season plunge’ for anyone who wants to try it. Just go swimming. Wear a wetsuit at first, if you like. Soon, you’ll probably discard it and become a skin swimmer (someone who just wears a cossie), and before long, you’ll find you want to continue and you’ll become a winter swimmer.”
It was brilliant and invigorating but I think I'll keep the wetsuit on. Oh and it does help weight loss as this is me after one session.....