After the disastrous cold water swim in Lej de Staz I am now committed to training myself to swim properly in cold water, not simply a quick dip in and out. The pool at home seems to be dropping 1 centigrade a week, it’s now at 16ºc. but I don’t think it’ll go below 12ºc.
I looked up online how to swim in cold water. Definitely don’t dive in head first. I remember making that mistake at Lochantutach (Moray, Scotland) one warm March. The weather was unseasonably hot for the time of year, we all went back to Spain with tans, bizarre. Being used to the water in the summer which is a mild 20ºc I decided to go for a plunge not remotely considering that it was still ice cold meltwater running in from Aitnoch. I almost felt my heart stop as I dived in off the pontoon, the shock momentarily froze my arms and I felt I was going to sink to the bottom in front of my two girls.
On another occasion I remember breaking a thin skein of ice on top of a pool diving straight in one side and out the other. The sharp needle prickly feel and the coursing of blood through the veins gives me a temporary high, love it. But I’m 57 now, the heart is good and strong but I don’t want to push my luck. Slowly slowly.