In the snow: the joy of outdoor swimming

Today I went swimming in the snow. It was one of the most wonderful swims of my life. And no I’m not some sort of Lewis Pugh type swimming superhero who cracks the ice in the Arctic to swim in freezing temperatures. Instead, it was at my local David Lloyd in Finchley where they are good enough to open the pool for a few hours a day even in the winter without any of those ridiculous health and safety concerns excuses that dog modern life.

Geoff Jones photograph of a Finnish Avantouinti (ice-swimming)

Geoff Jones photograph of a Finnish Avantouinti (ice-swimming)

So while the environment may have suffered (though probably not as much as all those p0liticians flying off to Copenhagen for fruitless talks on climate change), me and a barrel chested old boy – who looked like one of those pictures you see of Victorian Channel swimmers – were able to enjoy the not so icy water.

I guess the temperature in the water was around 20-22 degrees, certainly chilier than the 28 degrees in the indoor pool, but perfectly bearable – as long as you keep moving.

Part of the pleasure of swimming outdoors is stripping off at the side of the pool and letting your body face the elements virtually naked. I guess it was probably around 2 to 3 degrees on the poolside so you don’t want to hang around but as soon as you plunge in it feels just wonderful. Best of all though had to be flipping over onto my back after 100 lengths of crawl. Soft snowflakes hitting my mouth as my face faced  the sky. Just bliss. And the perfect escape from the pressures of work and Christmas present shopping!