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  • Writer's pictureDarren Watson

Shorter days and colder weather = harder motivation

As winter swiftly approaches, the days are rapidly becoming shorter and the air temperature has dropped to around 7 degrees, which can only mean the water temperature has plummeted in the lochs here in Scotland.

I knew that I was going to have a break from swimming after my Channel swim attempt, regardless if I was successful or not, to allow for proper recovery from the past 4 months of intense training. I guess one of the issues of taking time off, particularly during the transition from Summer to Autumn, is that the water temperature drops considerably, so the need to get back into the water as soon as possible isn't exactly at the top of my priority list.

Over the past few years, around about this time, I repeatedly say to myself 'I'm going to swim outdoors throughout the Winter!', which has yet to happen. Why?, well it's simple, I just can't motivate myself to do it. I think there are two things at play, me being lazy as well as the thought of edging myself in the freezing cold water - makes me shiver just thinking about it! I do know that once I'm in it's great and I do really enjoy it!

I've been practicing the Wim Hof Method over the past year or so, breathing and getting used to the cold - so much so that I built myself an outdoor shower at the beginning of this year. My intention was to use it so that I could keep my acclimatisation in check for my Channel swim. I guess this is now my little compromise on not going for my dip during the winter. It's easy* to get up and get in the shower for a few minutes and then get warmed up with a cup of coffee before starting the day at work.

I'm hoping that this year will be the year I go for at least a few swims nearby. We don't live too far from the nearest Loch or coastal beach, and there are a few people I can meet up with for that extra motivation. I think it would have to incorporate it into some other activity, such as meeting the parents or taking the dogs for a walk in the national parks, so let's see what happens!

*I should probably say easier, I mean some mornings when it's howling and lashing it down, I give it a miss!

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