A shock to my system

Water like tiny needles on my skin. I know how amazing I feel when I get out of the water, and that is what makes me want to get in initially. I swim in the sea every summer, and this winter I have continued to dip my body in for a little longer each time. It has become easier, as my body has become more accustomed to the shock. I enjoy the jolt, the painful experience; sometimes I am only in for a minute, sometimes more. The feeling of warmth, exhilaration, of feeling ALIVE is the most amazing feeling when I run out, towards my carefully prepared towel, hat, scarf and hot flask. It has become almost like a ritual; when I change into my bikini (no wet suits here! Madness I know!) I carefully place my clothes in order so upon my return I can speedily get dressed. My flask of tea is ready and waiting, and maybe a snack. Sometimes I swim with a friend, sometimes on my own. I have learned that the worst thing to do is hang around, waist deep in the water and be fearful. Running bravely in, splashing water on my torso and arms, and then diving straight in and moving fast, is the easiest and least painful way! Although I have yet to put my head completely under! I have always admired the local swimmers who go in for their daily constitutional off Battery Rocks, or a friend who dips in at Long Rock regardless of the weather. I thought they were bonkers, hard core, hardened locals! And they are!! But now I understand it; the almost addictive feeling of plunging into a cold sea.