Something amazing happened during the holidays. I learnt to swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
This might not sound that remarkable, but please consider the following:
- I grew up in Durban, swimming in the bath-like warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
- I have lived in Cape Town for 14 years and haven’t swum in the ocean more than 3 or 4 times a year (unless I’m visiting Durban…)
- Swimming in the ocean is one of my top 3 favourite things to do (reading books and gardening are the other two, obviously).
- *I live a 5 minute walk from the beach.*
So what caused this life-changing about-turn? I was complaining about how cold the ocean is and how much I hate wetsuits to my lovely half-dolphin friend @hanliprinsloo and she gave me the secret recipe:
– walk in up to your waist, take your time
– put your hands in
– take a deep breath, exhale slowly and ease into the water up to your neck.
She told me it would take less than 2 weeks to acclimate – it took 5 days! 5 days!! And I have swum in the ocean almost every day since…
I know about the extraordinary health benefits of cold water swimming but that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it for the sheer joy of swimming in the ocean, gazing at mountains, wave-hopping, saying hi to a seal who swam round me this morning…. I’m doing it because I love it.
And it’s not a challenge – there are no rules, I don’t have to push myself to do it. I have just found the key to being able to do one of my favourite things every time I want to and glory be! It feels like a miracle.
It has also prompted me to ask everyone I meet what their 3 favourite everyday things are to do… What are yours?