Ailbhe Healy

I fell into winter swimming by accident. I had grown up taking part in Christmas & New Years Day swims as well as plenty of open water swimming at various times of the year. My husband Mark, was the Ice Swimmer of the family and I was happy for it to be "his thing". I used to make smart comments about his obsession with water temperature, no matter what body of water we were near we got the current temperature! In 2019 I kept swimming through into the colder autumn months and thought I would see how long I could keep it up. I knew if I missed a week I might have to call it a day until the following Spring. But I was enjoying it so much that the fear that I might have to stop if it got too cold spurred me on to keep going. Getting into cold water is never a problem but getting out and getting dressed is always a race against the shivers and the dreaded "drop". Hot soup and a chat with like minded swimmers after is as good for the soul as the swim itself. I have never owned a hot water bottle until this year and it has become my new best friend.