Channeling your inner penguin

The one thing I've noticed is that my wild swimming escapades seem to generate more discussion than my fabulous glass goodies so I thought I'd embrace the topic and give you a bit more info - for those who are interested 'natch.

2020 has obviously been a strange year and as I was on furlough, then part time furlough I could do the early morning lake swims that were denied to me last year due to school runs and work having to be done. Lockdown obviously stopped everything but towards the tail end of May open air swimming could start up again and the whole world and his wife embraced wild swimming. Fortunately for me Lenches Lakes is just down the road and not many people wanted to throw themselves into their icy depths at 7 in the morning, not that May was icy at 23 degrees! Last year I wore a wetsuit, this year I lasted one lap in it then had to clamber out of the lake, then the wetsuit as it was far too hot, then back in the lake to continue my swim and I've never bothered with it since (on this note if anyone needs a shortie wetsuit for a traditionally built lady I have two going begging......). I could wax lyrical about the joys of lake swimming but I suspect you've already read the Telegraph and Guardian articles that were all over the place this summer extolling the virtues of being in non chlorinated water! What I enjoy about it is being able to watch the buzzard sat on his tree top at the end of the lake thinking about when to launch himself into the air, or looking out for the moorhen who I know is sat on her nest in the left hand bank of reeds, watching and waiting to see if it's safe to take her brood out for their first swim. The real thrill (and this is something that makes most people shudder), is having one of the trout jump out in front of you as if to say 'call that swimming, watch this is how it's done!'

As summer rolls into autumn then winter, the temperature drops and you must attend a winter safety session to continue your swimming season - this can literally be a life saver as you are told what to look for as you go into cold water but more importantly how to warm up safely and deal with afterdrop. Afterdrop occurs as you are still cooling down for up to 20 minutes after you get out of the water and it's this that can cause more problems than being in the water if you're not careful. However the team at Lenches Lakes are fabulous, they are monitoring you constantly whilst you are in the water (there are two lifesavers on the lake in canoes and two spotters on land the whole time swimmers are in the lake), watching your swim style, speaking to you to make sure you are still coherent (some people might say I'm never that out of the water, but I just ignore them...) and generally checking all is OK.

I do have a goal, I want to swim on Boxing Day and New Years Day, it might not be far as this is my first season but so long as I can get in the water and get that invigorating first lap in, I know that the rest of the day will be fabulous and my inner penguin will be singing his little heart out.

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