… is another man’s long swim! 

Victor, Carl, Eileen, Stacy, Peter, Christina, Melanie, John, Lynne, Alexis, Darren, Ronald, Jenn, Rob, Joanne, Jason, Andrew, Bill & Alexei came late! (click to enlarge)

So today was a great day!!!  You can’t measure how good a swim was by how warm the temperature is… fortunately… no, you measure a good swim by how you felt and how much fun you had.  Think about all the things you’ve done… and the ones that were the toughest and most unique are the most memorable ones… and today was one of those days!

As John said, the water is crystal clear… which means it’s cold.  And he was right… it was cold, but beautiful, you could see perfectly underwater, it LOOKED like the Caribean, but it didn’t FEEL like it!  I got there early and took the water temp… now as many of you know, I’ve been know to… well, exaggerate what the water temp is… to get people in the water and then tell the truth after.  But today I had to tell everyone up front that the water was going to be cold… that they would be shocked when they got in and would need to do some backstroke, then head up front crawl, then try putting their face in and see how long they would last… and they might not last long.  I also explained to everyone that with a wetsuit on you weren’t going to become hypothermic, you would just be… well, uncomfortable.  Very uncomfortable.  It takes your breath away and burns a little on your hands, feet and face at first… but then they go numb… and you are fine.  But as Darren said “the water temp is on a need to know basis… and you don’t need to know anything other than it is cold!”

We're number one!!!
We're number one!!!

I keep wanting to stretch out the swim longer than our 20 out and 20 minutes back… but this wasn’t the week for it.  So I thought we’d try 15 out and 15 back… and knew most people wouldn’t last that long and many might not even get in. 

I was wrong.  Everyone got in!  Even our newbie Peter, who was the lone “naked” swimmer got in! (tough week to have for your first swim!)  Some just went 5 minutes or so, which is still impressive… it’s very hard to explain how cold that is.  I just wanted everyone to go in so they now will know what that temp feels like, now you have a mental benchmark and know that you can swim in water that cold.  The big surprise however, was how many people went the full 30 minutes… extremely impressive!  As would be expected, our resident hardcores were the last ones out, Darren, Mel and Eileen!  I was shocked to see that Stacy was the second last one out and Lynne went the full distance too… and these were 2 that were telling me all winter at Burlington Masters that I was nuts for swimming in water that cold!  True converts now!

ooh, ah... ooh, ah... that's cold!
ooh, ah... ooh, ah... that's cold!

I was even more surprised when I came swimming in and saw a bunch of them standing “naked” on the shore (Jenn and Joanne especially)… and then come charging in towards me!  I thought maybe they couldn’t wait until I got back to shore so they could beat me up for convincing them to swim in water that cold… but to my surprise, they all had taken off their wetsuits and were doing a Polar Bear Dip!!!  Couldn’t get enough of it!!!  (Keep that thought in mind for when we do the real Polar Bear Dip on Jan 1!!!)

All in all… a very memorable and FUN swim!  We had 19 swimmers out… and, oh yeah, I almost forgot… the water was 49F / 9C.  A new LOST Swimming record! 

Great job everyone… see you next week!!!

PS.  don’t worry, it’ll be warmer next week… can’t get much colder!

woohooo!!! (hurry, Nicole... take the picture!)
woohooo!!! (hurry, Nicole... take the picture!)



out, out, out!!!
out, out, out!!!
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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!


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