It is near the end of October, and so many regions in the northern hemisphere are considering the wild water closed until next spring.

I had the privilege of helping ‘close’ the season for TI Coach Tracey Baumann’s ow venue, Taplow Lake in London, with Coach Terry and (now TI Coach) Johnny Widen from Lulea Sweden. The water was 12 C (54 F). I tried out a very thin, 0.5 mm, Sailfish sleevless speedsuit, which took the initial edge off the first moment of immersion, but did nothing to spare me the splitting ice cream headaches that came when I kept my head submerged. (I had wax ear plugs thankfully). I made it 12 minutes and could have kept going but really it was the headaches that urged me to get out, not the cold on my body. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not as stressed by that temperature. I am excited to keep going.

I have a friend back in cool and wet Oregon email me a question about the safety and practicality of continuing to swim in a local lake as winter draws closer. I am so pleased to hear another is reconsidering the boundaries the seasons try to impose upon our outdoor swimming. I intend to spend this winter exploring and to write about the ways we can do this in ways that maximize safety and enjoyment.

If you too have the urge to resist the restrictions imposed by cooler water and weather send me a note and tell me about your plans or desires to break out. We can’t let our Swedish swimmer friends have all the cool water fun!

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