Cold water dipper
FEATURES,  Readers' Swims

The internal chatter of a cold-water dipper

Canadian reader Glenda Bonne reveals her innermost thoughts before and after a cold-water swim. Can you relate?

Morning of the day of the dip:

Oh boy, what a chilly day. I can certainly do without a dip today; it’s much too cold and those waves are massive!

Afternoon of the day of dip:

Gee, I have a lot of aches today. And I’m restless. And look, it’s warmer outside now. Those waves would be fun! We should go for a dip. I wonder if anybody posted?

After a look at Facebook:

Ok, a post, oh boy, let’s do this! Get that gear on, grab that bag, don’t forget the water shoes, let’s go!

Cold-water swimming

Drive to beach with jumbled thoughts:

Hmmm, wow, I’m actually feeling nervous, it’s gonna be awful cold, can I do this? Do I really want to? Can’t wait, so excited. Am I crazy?

Arrival at beach:

So… who else is here? Wow, look, a bunch of people, yay! Let’s get down there pronto, get the bags, don’t forget those water shoes, let’s go!

Picking a log to sit on:

“Hi everybody! So happy to see you. Wow, that‘s a cold wind. And look at those waves!”

I am crazy. Why am I doing this? These people are nuts.

Sitting on the log waiting for other dippers:

“Hey, it’s great to be here with you guys!”

Omigod, it’s cold here. I don’t want to take my clothes off. And look at that water, it’s going to be soooooo cold. Damn wind. Damn clouds. Crrrrrazy people. It’s not too late to go home. Maybe I have a headache. A stomach ache. Let’s just go for coffee at Tim’s. Anything! This is ridiculous. These people are an unbelievable kind of crazy.

Time of dip:

Oh God, everybody else is actually going to do it. I guess I have to. Ok, off with the robe. Oh, COLD!!! Oh, rotten wind! Well, apparently this bunch of lunatics are all going in; I guess I gotta too. Move, body, move!

Into the water, first thought:

Oh, look how pretty the bottom looks.

Into the water, second thought:

Who am I going to splash if I fall in?

Into the water, third thought:

AM I REALLY DOING THIS? Hurry, hurry and get in or you won’t do it at all. Omigod, here goes, splash, fall, dip, AGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! (Scream, swear, yell, moan)

First seconds into dip:

Holy crap, this is awful! So cold, so cold, so cold………. ah, that’s a bit better…. covered in water, cold but nice, better now, a bit better…..

Two minutes into dip:

Ahhhhh, numbness, so nice, the water is like velvet. I love this. I love these people. Look, someone new has immersed, clap, hoot, yell, laugh, this is so much fun, I am so happy, wow, these people are amazing. I am amazing! Yahoo!

Five minutes into dip:

Oh god, this is so great! Can’t feel a thing, love this, hmmm, a bit chilly now. Is that goosebumps, can’t be, I’m underwater. Maybe a little movement will help. Yes, swim, move, laugh.

Ten minutes into dip:

Geez, I’m getting cold. This is sure fun, but where are my feet? Stupid water shoes. My hands are soooo cold. Useless gloves. Can’t feel my back, what’s going on? I think I have to get out of here. Can I move? Hmm, well maybe not yet, another two minutes, I’m having so much fun. I’ll just stay here and yak and laugh with my good, good friends.

Twelve minutes into dip:

Ok, people are going towards shore, I can get out now, phew. Move, move, oops, stumble, don’t fall, why don’t my legs work?

Back at the logs:

Oh, that wind! But I feel wonderful. I’m not cold, what was everyone worried about? This is a piece of cake. What a bunch of wimps. I feel great! Ok, dry off. Hmm, hard getting this bathing suit off. Am I showing myself to the world? Hang onto that towel, quit fumbling, what the heck? Why are those people up there watching us? Is that a camera? Oops, dropped the robe, oh well.

Continuing to dress:

Darn water shoes, won’t come off. Damn, my hands won’t work. Bathing suit, quit sticking to me or I’m gonna rip you to shreds! And where are my socks? Ouff, they sure are hard to get on. Pants, where are my effing pants???? This is an emergency and I can’t find my damn stupid pants! Oh there they are, ok, on quick, quick, quick, aw, phew. Ok, getting cold, really cold. What’s with this shivering? Why are my bones sooo cold? My hands are freezing, I’m freezing, this is nuts. These people are crazy, why do they do this? This is not fun. I want to go home. I want a hot bath. A boiling bath. Let’s get out of here.

Stumble to car:

“Bye everybody, its been great!”

This is not fun.

“See you soon. Tomorrow? Sure!”

I don’t think so, you are all demented.

Fumble in car:

Omigod, I’m so freakin cold! I can hardly open the thermos, my hands won’t work, give me a cup, pour the tea, oh god, get home as soon as possible, I’m shivering A LOT, damn, why does anybody do this? Drive faster!!

At home:

Ok, into the house asap. Drop everything, move around as much as possible, hyperventilate, curse, jump, bend, run, curse, shiver, moan, run hot bath water.

In the bathtub:

Ok, my feet feel better. Ah, my hands are warming up. I’ll just slowly lower into this water. Wow, what a feeling. My whole body is better, yes, this is ok, oh thank heavens for warm water, this feels SO good. What a blessing.

After the bath:

So, warmest clothes, come here, ah, you feel fabulous. Glass of wine, couch, TV, snack, ahhhhhhhh. Soooo happy. So content.

That. Was. Wonderful.

I’m so glad we did it. I love life. I love those people. I love cold water dipping, what a great thing to do.

Ah, so happy. Let’s do it again tomorrow!

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