Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Hold on to your hats folks, the challenge has started! Seven months of dipping in cold water, from the sea, to rivers and even a bath in my back garden, 3 times a week in all weathers.
Today, Thursday 1st October 2020, was the first dip. I took (dragged, coaxed, bribed) long suffering husband to come along and play the role of photographer, while our son and I dashed into the waves. It was a mild day, sun still peeking out from the behind the clouds, a balmy 12 degree air temperature, blissfully wind free, as we made our way down the steps and onto the beach. I set up my beach sign, to tell curious passersby what the heck I was doing in a bikini in the sea, and to post them in the direction of my website and fundraising page. I whipped off my towelling robe and did my little piece to camera, while Sam of course ran around like an excitable puppy on the sand, just behind his dad (who was holding the camera, not also running around like a puppy).
Sam and I walked into the sea holding hands, a few squawks from us both as the cold water hit, before we jumped and played in the waves together. I love being in the sea with my son. He loves it just as much as I do, and shows no fear whatsover, no matter how many waves crash into his face, or how much seaweed flaps around him. We had a brisk, fun 15 minutes, before I noticed he looked a little cold, so persuaded him to come out.
The sea was 12.4 degrees (measured with my new waterproof, digital, cooking thermometer purchased especially for the challenge), which didn't feel too bad at all. I am, however, under NO illusions that it will always be so...welcoming...it can dip to as low as 4c in winter which will be...interesting.
While I had been in the sea I noticed a lady come down onto the beach, and sit on a rock, focusing intently on something in her hand all the time. I thought it was strange for someone to come all the way to a beautiful Northumbrian beach to stare at their phone, and from a distance I couldn't work out if I knew them or not. As I was getting out, I saw her get up and walk to my beach sign, reaching down to pick up one of my hastily made "business cards" I had put in a bag. I rushed over to say thank you, and the lady said that she was in the area purely by coincidence, and had come down to the beach to do some sketches. So, not a phone after all! I shouldn't judge people by my own phone-obsessed standards! She was very enthusiastic about my challenge, and said that she had sketched me in the sea. She expressed a desire to come along and get involved in a swim one day, which would be fabulous! I was thrilled. My first ever dip with my beach sign out, and I had already gained some interest, and had got my message out to someone I had never met before.
It is very strange writing such personal information on a sign for someone walking past to read. So much more intimate than online. But...worth it.
Bring on dip 2!