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Just when you think it can’t get worse…

FINALLY! My open water season has officially started again! Gosh, I’ve missed it! I’m done just wandering around in the shallow water or just going for a dip. The water in the Sound is around 7-9 °C and I have taken the first strokes of the year. Certainly the distance is still minuscule, but I’ve been SWIMMING! No wetsuit, no neoprene hat, no grease, nothing but the water and me (and my Funky Trunks just in case the prude police should be around…). It’s so great to be back in the sea! La vita è bella! Icy cold, but bella! I love the pricking on my skin, even the slight sting in my shins, my ankles and my cheekbones. It’s amazing how invigorating it feels while swimming and after leaving the water. Taking a dip is great, but swimming is fabulous!

On the downside of this awesome Easter weekend my fingers almost froze to death. Through the years this problem has been haunting me more and more when I run, forcing me to wear several pairs of gloves in order to keep my fingers alive for an hour or so from late autumn through early spring. For the first time ever, the symptoms appeared when I swam on Sunday. I can’t tell if it was due to my swimming alone or to the combination of swimming and holding the ice cream I had on my way home (nobody’s perfect… 😉 ), but it took the fingers of my left hand almost an hour to fully recover from the numbness and the tingling sensation. If this happens again, I’ll have no choice but see my physician. A goal is a goal and I won’t let my fingers get in the way! So I must cross that bridge next time I come to it!

140419_2On the upside the weather was perfect, so my friend Camilla joined me for a short dip-&-swim in the harbour. She’s a tough girl! Open water swimming is new to her but she’s found the guts to sign up for the annual swim around the Danish Parliament this summer. Respect!

Some friends are shivering at the mere thought of the cold water. Others think we’re off our heads. But I’ll tell you what – it’s not as bad as it sounds or looks like. It could be worse, much worse indeed! We could go for an ice mile, for instance!

The ice mile is the new (masochistic) open water challenge, where you embark on swimming 1,6 km without stopping in water below 5° C, wearing nothing but your Speedos, your goggles and your swimming cap. Two words – Perishing cold!

You think that’s insane? Well, wait until you meet this guy my friend Britta told me about the other day! His name is Martin Strel and he’s swum the entire length of the Amazon river. 5,268 km in 66 days with escort boats ready to pour blood into the river to distract piranhas and other meat-eating fish.

That’s one of the amazing things about the way we choose to live our lives. Somewhere, somehow, somebody is always doing something crazier! So, go for it! Be crazy! Just do it!

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