Once I decided I was going to keep swimming, the first thing I did was to tell as many people as possible to keep myself accountable. My coach and fellow swimmers have seen me disappear at the end of April in previous years, so I knew if I said I was going to continue then they would remind me if I went back on my word. The second thing I did was to buy myself a proper warm, swimming coat that makes the process of getting ready (it does require discipline to get out of a warm bed and put your togs on) and getting out of the water at the end as streamlined as possible.
- There are less people at the pool, which in itself makes it feel more exclusive
- You get to see some truly stunning winter sunrises - it feels like a privilege to witness them
- The steam coming off the water is really inviting and looks a bit mystical
- The colder the air temperature is, the warmer the water feels
- Once you're in, it's warmer than walking
- I'm not losing fitness and have even had a random PB or two
- Getting out is chilly but exhilarating
- The hot shower afterwards is SO nice!
- People think I'm amazingly brave for swimming outdoors at 5.30am in winter when it's actually not that hard at all!
So what is the point of this post you ask? Sometimes you can talk yourself out of things really easily without even giving it a go. For so many years I had a set idea in my mind that swimming in winter would not be enjoyable in any way, but once I gave it a go I've realised it's not that hard and wondered why I made such a big deal out of it. Early morning swimming in summer will always be my preferred option, but continuing through winter is not without it's advantages and I'd really hate to be missing what I'm currently experiencing.
If you're struggling to commit to something, make a plan how you can motivate yourself and then just give it a go. It might be easier than you think.