39 Degrees at GSL

I met Gordon and Jim at the Great Salt Lake Marina this afternoon for our weekly Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club swim.

With the inversion and all the smog in the air, it made it seem even colder outside.  As we were milling around near the boat ramp, Jim said "I think I got to know the wrong guys".

We took some video and then Gords stripped down and got ready to go.  I was surprised to see him put on his channel grease since he had a tough recovery after last week's swim.  I thought for sure he would not be swimming today.  If you don't already know Gordon, he is one of the most mentally tough guys I know.  It seems like he can will his body into doing anything.  Without any hesitation, he jumped in and started swimming towards the opening of the marina.

I hung back to take some video of Jim getting in the water since he hasn't been with us for a while.  He had a neoprene cap, gloves and booties to help with the cold.  He waded right into the water and and then went under.  He stayed in and floated around while I got ready to get in.

There is a guy on the Winter Swimming documentary who said something like "I love everything about winter swimming...except for getting in and swimming".   I kind of have the same feeling.  I get butterflies in my stomach before every swim.  Getting out of the water is another story, I love doing that!  I got in and did head-up breaststroke for a while until my breathing was semi-normal.  I floated around for a while and then swam a little freestyle.  It is so much harder at this temperature than it is even a few degrees warmer.

Jim after his second time in the water.

Gords and his new beard.
After I got out, Jim was got back in and stayed in until Gords finished up.  We all got dried off and dressed and hung around for a while talking.  I was telling them about this awesome commercial for Columbia Sportswear with Wim Hof:

Still no takers on Gord's bribe of $10 for the first new "polar bear".  I will sweeten the deal by adding another $10 to the pot.  We are looking at possibly doing a polar plunge on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (both on Saturday).  Stay tuned for more details.

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