I hope you’ve had a fantastic weekend and managed to get into the water for a little cleansing of the soul!
South Africa has recently moved to Level 2 lockdown which means family visits can happen, restaurants can now serve alcohol and interprovincial borders are now open so travel without permission slips can happen which is awesome! All this to say, I hope you saw and spent time with a loved one this weekend!
I’ve been in Port Alfred for 2 weeks now and over the one weekend managed to travel to Kenton-on-Sea to play in their mermaid pools which was fantastic! The weather was beautifully sunny, relatively no wind and all the good!
But the last week and a bit has been super windy and there’s a level of indescribable sadness to seeing the sea but not being able to get in for that cleansing so I jumped in the pool. I’m certain it was somewhere under 10 degrees and beautiful... let’s talk about cold water swims!
I have a weird love for cold water swims.. almost like it wakes me up.. warm waters are great buuuuut…. there’s that thing, and the questions I’ve gotten is What, Why and How?!
Cold water swims! I do them for at least 20 minutes every day, alternating laps between breathing through my snorkel and dynamic apnoea, I don’t need to tell you that the diving reflex kicks in quick fast in that cold water lol,
More than the fact that it helps wake me up and feel alive and the fact that I used to do cold morning showers in Joburg, scientists say there’s benefit to cold water showers/swims like boosting your immune system, natural high on endorphins, enhances your circulation and stress reduction – I can confirm all of this.
My experience is that it wakes me up and helps me access my brain and an inner part that I cant quite explain yet, this is the larger part of the why I wanted to share about my therapy in this cold water space :)
This pandemic has run long and often in the disconnect, in these waters there's a finding of self, closure and just big life energies... really!
Ps, do a few dunk unders if you can and get warm as soon as you get out the water, I’m still testing the hypothesis of the body warming itself post swim without an immediate hot shower ;)
I’d say start with cold showers, we are towards the end of the South African winter and the last 2 weeks have been some of the coldest weather I’ve experienced so your pool will not be higher than 10 degrees, so maybe... start in the shower.
1. Nice warm shower then switch the water off and stand under the cold water for at least a minute, try grow this time to 3... 4 minutes (one minute front, one minute back, and 30 sec each side – pick a song you love and let it play while you sing along because the mind will focus where you take it).
2. Jump in the shower and go straight into the cold water, you’ll feel like a part of you is screaming but this is where we use our breath (check the breath posts), but Ujjayi breath is fantastic way to heat up the body from inside, or look to belly breathing, that deep belly space takes the focus away from the cold water (the body doesn’t do both – we choose what we focus on, even when the water is freezing – focus!)
And the alternate, just wake in the morning, jump into your cozzie and without thinking about it, jump into the pool/ocean.
Yes you will freak.
Yes you will most likely feel like your head just froze and your bones left you behind!
All are okay, the freak out is okay, the frozen head is okay, the cold feeling is okay, the feeling to jump out is okay.
Acknowledge them all and then start swimming, you’ll warm up in the laps,
Wishing you happy cold swims and showers!!
And an Instagram live update, this week we had Rhonda Harper from Black Girls Surf back on the Live this week, they had done a beautiful shoot with the surfers in Senegal titled Tradition x New Generation surfers and had announced a partnership with Hurley, we chat about these amazing achievements, women taking time to rest between holding the world up and standing firm in your speech, not being afraid of your delivery tone or intensity of your passion. A beautiful conversation as usual, catch it here!
Happy listening and a stunner week ahead!