Why swim?

Why swim? In the cold, with the shivering, feet go numb and hands lose sense of where they were, as the shock of the shoulders going under causes you to shriek, skin turns to gooseflesh and pain enters the limbs.

Pain spreads. “Ah, not today, I’ll just get my feet wet.”




Down a winding wood walkway, past the psychopathic early-warning canine system, the smell of wild garlic swirls in the air, the trickling of the burn masks a louder rumble ahead.




When I see an open pool of water: I have to swim, to explore, to see what it’s like, to say that I swam there. I pass a pool in a river: it’s on the mental map. A decent loch: noted. A stretch of sea: will be done. Once I’ve seen it, I have to have it; a junkie with a craving for a fix of hydrogen and oxygen compounds.




No chlorine, no lanes, no showering before getting in, no entrance fees. Never was a swim in cold water regretted.

What was on the mind before is now gone – my focus is all about the swim, the environment, the place. A cold-water fugue, washing the silt out of the clutter of the brain. This morning I just felt generally like I couldn’t be arsed. Now, I’m high. Wired to something, endorphins are flowing, synapses firing. I’ve got my fix. There’s nothing I can’t do now.

Why swim?

Why not.



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