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Why Do I Get Up?

It’s Saturday morning 6am.
The alarm sounds.
I roll over and turn it off.
I’ve been at work all week,
I get up every morning at 6am so why am I about to get up at exactly the same time on my day off?
The sun’s still in its bed so why am I getting out of mine?
Surely I deserve a lie in?
Why am I heaving myself out from under the sheets that seem to be reluctant to release their grip?
For what purpose am I putting on seemingly unnecessary layers of clothing?
What is motivating me to get into my car and drive through the lamp-lit streets?

A short way into my journey I pass through the golden tree lined avenues and just as the sun begins to climb above the horizon I have a growing sense that answers are not far behind.

Arriving at my destination I’m greeted by fellow blurry eyed companions and joint participants in the apparent madness that is now minutes away.
Anxiety is shared, temperature taken.

A breath-taking scene before me, mist over the river and the reflections of the trees reproduced on several mobile phone screens.
Decisions made.  It’s time.

 Reluctant, cautious, vociferous, enthusiastic; so many different approaches to the icy waters beyond the bank.

 I’m in. My body using all its resources to fight the natural desire to flee the freezing river.
Gradually the pain becomes bearable and incomprehensibly enjoyable.
The conversation begins to flow.

I stare at the sun rising above the golden-clothed tree line
and suddenly it all comes flooding back.

This is why I get up!

Mark Reed 2017

AS YOU'RE HERE: The HOWSC website is maintained and run by HOWSC members and relies on voluntary contribtutions.  Do you have something you'd like to share?  Maybe reflections on a recent swim, tales of adventures in far flung places, an account of your watery accomplishments? Photographs, videos, poetry, prose, art and more will all be gratefully received and published on the website for all to admire.  Contact Mark Reed to discuss or submit your contribution.  We look forward to hearing from you.
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