The Swimmer


I met Joan while taking a walk along Promontory Point early New Years’ Day. She was warming herself at one of the fire pits after going for a swim in Lake Michigan. I asked her what it was like swimming in the cold, cold winter water. “It’s invigorating, incredible, indescribable,” she said softly.

She said there’s lots of ice in the water so you have to keep your arms out in front of you so you can clear it out of your way. “It’s so cold that you could cut yourself on the ice and not know it.”  How do you handle the cold? I asked. “The water’s cold, but your body gets used to it,” she said.  “It’s worth it because of the high you get when you come out of the water.  It’s like a rebirth.”

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