The pleasures of age: a winter swim in the ocean

I have always marvelled at the old fogeys, who manage to swim throughout winter in these parts, even in water that would make a normal person blue with cold and suffering the effects of the cold on motor control. I speculated that perhaps such people had begun to lose the function of some nerves, so that they lost feeling to some extent. I wondered whether the many experiences of life made what once seemed like extremes into rather normal events.

Today, 9 August 2015, I decided to go for a swim in the ocean. This is the last month of winter in these parts, with chilly nights and fresh days. The water still has its winter feel. Down on the beach, I was the only person headed for the water. The few others present were rugged up, seeking to find some quiet on a winter’s afternoon by the water – albeit only for a look and the touch of the biting wind.

As I strode towards the water, I expected a brass-monkey and breath-taking dip, for perhaps a few seconds. Instead, it was glorious! I dove under waves, caught a few, sensed once again the salt water on my skin. Eventually, I came out of the water and went to change. I felt as though I was glowing.

Instead of a once-off event, I do believe this is the beginning of yet another swimming season. They seem to get longer every year. Another pleasure of age – they keep increasing in number.


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