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Gosh that's a bit chilly...


... Is along the lines of what went through my head as I gingerly waded into Queensford Lake this morning.

Today was my first of 3 open water swimming sessions led by Tri Swim Coaching, who I did my triathlon training day with and who also organised last weeks triathlon.

After the initial briefing we made our way into the water. There were many shocked faces, a muttered "what am I doing here?!" and multiple 4 letter words floating through group, along with a few giant grins. There's something exhilarating about what we're doing. We've made it up to our waists. Now to duck down and let the icy water into our suits. More four letter words. More grins.

Now to get moving, to actually swim in our wet suits. Buoyant and comfortable and doing its job well; this is the first time I've swum in this wet suit so it's a relief to know it fits right and works! Only my hands, feet and face are now cold. I braved putting my face into the water - another shock. Whilst most of my face got over that quite quickly, my forehead stayed chilled for a lot longer. Which is an odd sensation to say the least.

With the initial warm up swim out of the way, it was time to practice sighting and to go for a longer swim. Sighting is essentially finding a spot (usually a tree or a buoy, something that won't move) and looking up at it with every few strokes. This stops you veering off into the middle of the lake or a boat; as skills go that's quite a useful one to have mastered!

Overall we weren't in the water for more than 30 minutes (I think) but it was a really good experience. Our instructor was very encouraging and once the initial shock of the cold wore off, it was quite pleasant. I'm looking forward to next Sunday and being able to get in more practice - I'll be gliding through the water by Blenheim!!

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