“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse though me.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfelow
Sea swimming has started to get a lot of attention in the media lately, and with good reason! Those who are lucky enough to live near the sea have been flocking to brave the Atlantic daily raving about the benefits.
My mother is one of these brave and enthusiastic women who head out into the cold every morning to experience the fun and adrenaline of a pre work dip into the freezing Atlantic Ocean.
She is lucky enough to be part of an amazing group of women who all join together at the beach before work every single morning all year round. Whenever I join them I leave envious at their commitment and fearlessness but also enthused and awed at their never ending joy and youthfulness. Their swims range from long and leisurely in summer to a quick in and out in the depths of winter.
A quick google shows me there’s no end to the benefits including helping mental health, skin and respiratory issues.
I disturbed my mothers work this morning to ask her to explain their obsession.
“I can’t explain the buzz and rush of adrenaline as you plunge into the sea on a cold Winter morning. We’re always so proud of ourselves after a particularly miserable morning. A lot of us work from home and it’s a wonderfully sociable start to the day to be surrounded by friends chatting and supporting each other. I also haven’t had so much as a head cold in years”
What I’m always struck by is the camaraderie of the group. Its not just swimming, its a support group, drinking their magic brew to warm them up afterwards and sorting the problems of the world. They have music lessons once a week after their swim, do yoga, exercises and watch their dogs scamper around them. I always leave asking myself why don’t I join them more often?
Then the next dark morning as the rain pours down I sit at my desk with my warm cup of tea and watch my mother walk out the door. I snuggle into the warmth call out that she’s mad, my heart fully of admiration and envy.