I was watching a video of myself today down at the lake in ennis today. So I decided this morning when one of the doolin swimmers said they were swimming there at lunch time that I would join them. I happened to be going to ennis today anyhow. Well on the video I do come across as a bit of a snob. I dont actually mean to me, but I am inclined to just say whatever is on my mind. We are really lucky in Doolin during the winter with so few people around, or maybe its that I am with my group or tribe as its known in swimming terms, so I don't notice other people about?
Also this lake is right by a road and a shop across the road which didn't appeal to me but for god sake look at lahinch or any other beach with a town and it hasn't bothered me swimming there! What have I become? Its not like there aren't thousands of people about in Doolin in the summer. Doesn't bother me then.
Is it the convenience of hopping in my car in my togs, driving to the pier, get in, get out and drive home with my robe on? Maybe it was having to change by the roadside to get in and to change again when I got out?
Well the actually swim experience in the lake was grand. It really didn't feel any colder walking in. I got to about my waist and I just had to tell myself to go for it. As the thoughts of getting my boobs wet makes me want to run back out of the water. So I just have to push myself. Its easier at the pier as I dive in. So no slow torturing walk in.
Instantly my body starts to tingle, then they it feels a little numb. I hesitate to put my face in the water for 2 reasons, 1; I know the taste of lake water, its like mud and 2; my chin has already gone numb so I know i will most likely get brain freeze. My swim pal reassured me the water was fine and I would see the bottom, while another woman shouts out "you don't want to see what's at the bottom of the lake". This lake is on the edge of town, maybe there could be a dead body weighed down under there? I tell my silly imagination to shut up. So I take the plunge and start the front crawl, face down. Yes it tastes disgusting, yes I am getting brain freeze (although not as bad a ballyvaughan about 6 weeks ago) and no dead bodies. I actually could see nothing. Just a cloud of brown. So it wasn't the nicest of swims. But there are markers in the water and I am sure they are measured, so if you wanted to swim train it would convenient. Also there are no tidal problems or swells or pulls to contend with. I am sure you could swim in all conditions, so that too is a bonus. But I would not trade in a lake for the Atlantic sea any day. That salt water cleansing my nostrils, the waves bouncing me up and down, that somedays it feels like a roller coaster. The life under the water with the little sprat fish and seaweed and jelly fish floating about providing entertainment as you swim. Everytime you take a breath you see the rugged coastline and rocky shore or maybe crab island and the cliffs of moher. That feeling of being a tiny speck in this world when you lie on your back in the middle of the ocean, looking at the clouds move and the waves carry you about, rocking you like a baby in a crib. Maybe its like being back in your mother's womb surrounded by water but feeling safe and comforted by the movement as she walked about. I am not sure fully of the draw to the sea, it could be its unpredictability and its wildness, but its most certainly its the smell and taste of home to me.