Wild Swimming with the early birds

The shrill, shrieking bleep reverberates around my skull and my eyelids flicker upwards, although the difference between eyes open and shut is negligible. It’s dark. It’s Monday morning. And I know that’s it’s below freezing out there. I can hear the sound of my neighbour, scraping ice off his car as he gets ready to go to work. And I ask myself “Whyyyyyyy am I doing this?” But I know why, really.

Wild swimming at sunrise. It’s just magical.
I’ve arranged to meet three friends, early. We’re now standing on the edge of the lake (Rydal in the Lake District) looking in wonder at the mirrored surface. Wrapped warm in multiple layers, we’re watching the fish rising. They’re creating concentric ripples that spread silently across the glassy surface. The tips of the fells are just turning pink as the sun emerges from its slumber. But the moon is still high. Its twin reflected not far from where our feet stand.
And here’s where my planned story changes.
I’d thought this blog was going to be about the wonders of wild swimming. Specifically wild swimming at sunrise. About the thrill and the joy and the peace and the calm and the icy cold exhilaration. About the