The hardest part: Getting in
Like so many things, the hardest part of ice swimming is getting in. Interestingly, it's not getting out of bed or getting to the water, but literally putting one foot in front of the other until I'm in. The second hardest part is getting out. Once I'm in and floating on my back, it's like the world disappears and (especially in the dark or during sunrise) I exist only as a small speck in the universe floating in harmony with the world around me, its so cold that my body seems to disappear and everything becomes peaceful and simple. It's centering and meditative. I casually notice small changes in how my body is feeling, I notice them, check if it's normal, and then put it out of my mind. If only I could cultivate this process with thoughts and emotions I would be well on my way to solid meditation practice.
Two weeks ago we had a really cold morning, the water was 36 and the air was 26. The sand going down to the water was frozen and the frost looked like a dusting of snow. It was so cold that my bikini bottoms froze solid when I hung them up to drip on my roof rack. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to matter how long I am in for, my "sweet spot" for changing seems to be about ten minutes. As in, I don't feel cold until ten minutes after I get out. In previous years, I've noticed that my time to after drop changed depending on the water temperature, but since entering the 30s this year it's consistently right at the 10-minute mark.
Just another sub-par sunrise at BB. (Photos Eivind)