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Rod Words 12122017

The really really cold winter swims like today when it was 4 degrees are by far the biggest challenge of the week and my current life I guess. 

I try not to think about it before - just get up at 5.45 and go there. Used to get butterflies before but not really now. Get there and look at the river with the others and begin to dig deep. It looks cold.

Usual small talk and comments about birdlife. WITHOUT fail I always envy the birds. Switch off brain and emotions. Don't allow second thoughts about the whole thing. Back 30 seconds to car to undress. Go back to river and swear at it.

Just do it. Dive in and swim for a bit. Body is burning badly. Hard to breathe. No thoughts. I use the whole thing as an excuse to make any sort of noise or exhibit any sort of behaviour that I want. No one judges anyone.

Hands and feet begin to suffer. Go to middle of river and towards swans. Must keep going. Feeling better but feet and hands bad. Burning subsides. Keep going. Continues.
Aim for a target like a boat or a tree. Someone turns around. Eventually likewise. Small chat to people on way way back. All feeling gone from hands and feet. 

Where we got in seems a long way off. Burning gone - feeling good so able just to take in the sky, the sun rise, the clouds, the light, the birds and the bare trees.

A few minutes of complete and overwhelming beauty and oneness with nature. Feeling that water is such a forgiving material. So lucky to have it. Keep going. Begin to feel cold inside and weak. Hands and feet nothing. 

Get to end and climb out onto bank. Haven't thought of anything apart from survival. This is good for the soul. Next stage getting dressed which is by far the hardest now starts.

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