Cold water immersion with Ms Humdrum and Mrs H

Week 1 - just learning
Some three weeks ago, during a chat about boredom or exercise or some other rubbish, I said we should make an effort to swim more. I meant after June! She challenged me to start the next day! In April! What? Of course, I couldn't say no and of course, we have wet suits. Shorties.


We are frequent sea swimmers; luckily our boys all love the sea and can spend hours messing around there. Park Wednesday, or Thursday or whatever day it was that term, moves into Beach Wednesday when it's warm enough. This year though, with all of them being a secondary school, suddenly life is different. There sadly is no park day. No frequent catch up for us mums either.

Week 2 - sun!
Yesterday was swim week 3 and we must miss this weekend coming as Mrs H is away. What have we learned? We have learned that you need to boil the kettle before setting off to swim. You need a hat afterwards, Ms Humdrum needs to remember! You need gloves as it's FREEZING and your hands hurt like HELL. You also need to remember, from yesterday's swim, not to gossip too much on the way and have to make a triangular reroute on the way back because you didn't realise you were drifting. And don't forget the tide comes in quickly so may wet your towels. We also learned that whilst we felt impressed with what we were doing, we saw the old ladies who were dipping in just swimsuits! 

Week 3 - I still forgot my hat
My new favourite magazine, Breathe, had an article on Cold Water Immersion (or just swimming as we call it). It references Dr Mike Tipton, who is professor of human and applied physiology, at our own University of Porstmouth. He is a world expert on how cold water affects humans. Inconclusive as yet, evidence seems to show that there is a whole raft of benefits claimed by wild water swimmers - exercise is good for you, being outdoors and sharing a passion with like-minded people does you good emotionally, exposure to cold water seems to encourage resistance to colds, and triggers a surge of hormones improving your mood (paraphrased from Breathe). I have a friend who swims with her mermaids on a Sunday morning just down the beach from where I swim, and I know that apart from the physical benefits, she just loves the connection she has with her mermaids, only posting today of their beautiful souls she is glad to have found. 

I have posted before about feeling a bit lost since my son started secondary school, but catching up more regularly with Mrs H, as well as my exercise fun with Ms B, has started to fill those gaps for me and I'm not feeling as low as I was before Easter. I have had some success in becoming more resilient to work-related pressure - can I put this down to the cold water immersion? Who knows, but I'm sure it all helps. I'm not as tired anymore and have more energy in the afternoons after school, instead of hunkering down on the sofa, trying to keep my eyes open. I think we should've contacted this Dr Tipton and offered our services as guinea pigs. Maybe we still can? 

There's just one comment I have to make about Breathe's otherwise fabulous and informative article - there's a section at the end entitled Where to try cold-water swimming. Lovely places are mentioned, including Brighton beach. Ummm. Your main expert is based in Portsmouth. How about Southsea beach? I know I'm biased, but I'd say it's far better than Brighton beach! Six miles of stunning Solent views, from Hayling Island to the Isle of Wight, two piers, hundreds of yachts, access to historic fortifications and dockyard including The Mary Rose Museum, all flanked by a huge common. Come try it!