It gets better from Down Here.
Down Here it’s the coldest and the shortest swims.
Down Here is where we separate ourselves from the newbies, the dippers, the triathletes, the fakes, the Christmas Day and mystic swimmers.
Down Here is where we differentiate ourselves, even from ourselves.
Down Here is the bottom of the bathtub curve. Behind us and before us the walls of temperature rise ineluctably upward.
Down Here no amount of expensive warm-up clothes will instantaneously remove the deep cold from your core.
Down Here snowdrops and daffodils are blooming but the water is the coldest and we can touch the eventual Heat Death of the Universe. Down Here, entropy is king.
Down Here north-east winds are sharper than ceramic scalpels.
Down Here we know that post-swim hot chocolate and cake are merely band-aids applied after an amputation.
Down Here our only coherent discussions are with ourselves. Because no-one else is listening or understands.
Down Here our only justifiable excuses are to ourselves.
Down Here is where, when the guy with the wetsuit asks if you will be wearing one, your instantaneous unrehearsed “oh god no” response crushes him, and he and you know:
Down Here is a different thing for both of you.
Down Here is where you get a reputation. For being crazy. For being iron.
Down Here is where you learn more about yourself.
Down Here it’s the month of February.
Down Here it’s the second half of February.
Down Here it’s the third week of February.
Down here it’s the weekend of the third week of February.
Down Here no other word suffices.
Down Here, you know that the rest don’t understand what it truly means.
Down Here it’s the arse of the year, the arse of winter.
Down Here it’s cold.
Down Here are Cold Water Swimmers.
It gets better from Down Here.
21 thoughts on “The Arse of Winter”
I feel for you. In the San Francisco Bay it only got down to 9.4 Celsius, with an air temp of 4.4. It’s already warming up though. 11 celsius feels like bliss in comparison.
Your SF winter is over so quickly! Suzie told me that before. We won’t get 11 degrees until late May. Enjoy the spring!
Reblogged this on iswimalongtheshore.
If that weekend was the Arse, then Saturday morning was the Eye of the storm, so to speak. I was out running a long race that morning, and it was bitter. My hands froze walking back from registration to the car. The Trans-Siberian Express blew in that weekend. I suspect TAOW is a moveable feast in much the same way the mandarins calculate Easter. But I’d hazard a guess it never strays far from the back end of February. You’re on to something here for sure.
Kudos on a great piece. I’d be willing to bet Suibhne mac Colmain was a cold water swimmer…
I hate musicals!
That is brilliant
We just passed the “arse of winter’ and are climbing….although with all the rain it may come back to bite us in the butt again in May…
Do you think I’ve invented a new open water swimming phrase for the coldest point of the year? E.g. SF and everywhere else, will have its own “arse of winter”.
I love your posts – up here in Scotland we swam in my coldest water yet – 1.5′ on Saturday, in the snow and the wind. Water actually felt warmer than the air – just a quick 10 min swim though before we got too cold!
10 mins at 1.5 degrees is not quick to most people and many you couldn’t pay to do it. Good stuff!
Splendid younger brother simply splendid!!
over here there is no ocean in Minnesota just ice still 16 inches thick in the lake which melts around the edges and refreezes over here.
over here when I’m at the doctor yesterday having some cancer scraped off my ear
because when my grandmother Mary came over here she didn’t give to me enough melanin for the sun
the nurse said to me no swimming in The Lakes for 3 weeks now
as if she somehow knew that swimming in an open body of water was something that I wanted, no, needed, to do.
Because there is no ocean
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Thanks big brother. Hope your recovery from “a touch of the cancer” goes well.
We will never escape what it means for each of us to be down there. The cold… God knows how I run. Heaven or hell it sharpens everything. Thanks Donal
Indeed Sam. It sharpens The Edge of who we are. See you in the summer.
fabulous , love reading your posts , even the water here is hastings is really cold now
Thanks Heather. We’re swimming downhill to warm water from here.
Really like your posts breaks down cold water swimming to a level that I understand and should leave anyone who doesn’t in no uncertain terms what to expect
Thanks Andy. Too much macho bullshit written about cold that I really don’t like, by some less than genuine people.
Thank Jean. Looks like I’m missing the coldest weekend due the weather. Enjoy.
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