And I Thought I Was Hard
I went to the gym this morning for the first cycling workout of the year - a spin class. I was expecting it to be really busy (seeing as its January), but there were only six of us + the coach. Which meant fewer places to hide - especially with the studio’s main lights on instead of the ‘disco’ lights (sorry - I AM a child of the ’70s).
When I got home, I took Huge Dalmatian for a walk on the beach, where there was a guy walking down to the raging sea, wearing a pair of swimming trunks. I asked one of the other dog walkers if I was imagining things, and he said that he could see it too, but that this guy was for real - a year-round un-wetsuited swimmer in the North Sea. There was something odd in the way he walked & swam though. Kinda like limping on dry land AND in the sea.
Turns out that this regular swimmer in Cullercoats Harbour has only ONE LEG - the other is a prosthetic. (OMG!)
So after he’d finished & walked up the beach - a ruddy red to his skin, rather than my pale blue on New Year’s Day - I just had to stop to have a chat. Turns out that the sea’s warmer this year and last year than it has been before . . . a pleasant & balmy 5ºC (41F) or so, compared with 2ºC (36F) in previous years . . . and yes he’d swum pretty much five or six days a week in those too. I have only one word to say on that - WTF?!
OK, so I know that’s technically three words . . . and in case you’re wondering, as this is a family-friendly blog, the “F” stands for feck, (which is a word that even a Man of The Cloth would use in public), but I’m sure you get my meaning. And no, it wasn’t the one-leg that’s the point, just the fact that this bloke seemingly in his 50s or so is doing on a daily basis what I’d thought was a big deal as a once a year one-off.
Kinda humbling, in a very, very big way.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 01/04/2008
- Time: 14:28:29
- Total Time: 00:45:00.00
- Distance: 15 miles
- Average Speed: 20 mph