Hello lovelies! Hope your 2014s are going well so far.
Somebody asked me recently how they could reset their outlook back to being positive and confident after a period of being stuck in a rut. My answer: a shock to the system is the only way to get the blood pumping positively again.
In my case, a spur of the moment burst of bravery pushed me to do this myself.
I had dabbled with the thought of discharging this particular burning desire on many previous occasions but had always dismissed it out of hand, not for the obvious reasons (those being it basically being a bit mental), but for a fundamental fear of what other people would think.
Self repression of this type truly is the devil’s work and is most certainly in direct conflict with anyone wishing to leave ruts-ville behind, maximise their fabulous and be as care free as they can be.
So there I was:
WORRYING about making a fool of myself in some way.
WORRYING about doing it on my own.
WORRYING about the unfamiliarly of a “first” which, in days gone by, has seen me get geared up only to body swerve that first new book group or evening class at the 11th hour for fear of feeling silly and out of place.
For this ridiculous worrying, and my subsequent failure to actually do certain things, I have persecuted myself mercilessly over the years.
What I really should have been worrying about of course was the physical outcome of getting into my swimming costume, on January 1st, and wading Ursula Andress style into the waves of the Firth of Forth in front of LOTS of people with LOTS of camera phones. Funnily enough, the goose bump side of things was just about the last thing I was worried about.
Yes, the New Year’s Day morn Loonie Dook was my challenge dilemma.
For those not familiar with the concept, the Loonie Dook involves swimming sans wetsuit in the sea off the east coast of Scotland on the 1st of January. Origins are unknown, however, the folklore suggests a it has purgative and cleansing effect on the new year soul. Surely the perfect start to restoring and clarifying my outlook for 2014?
Once I had vocalised my intentions, I knew there was no going back. I think this is always the best way for those who suffer from determination and fear in equal measure. Less inner wriggle room.
As expected, my people thought that I was mad “You aren’t seriously going to do it?” “You do know, seventy seconds is all it takes for hypothermia to set in at this time of year?”
Cheers guys – just the sort of dismissal usually reserved from myself to myself. Was I mad? I contemplated this as I got into my 63 year old mother’s bathing costume. I had come unprepared.
An hour to go and nerves were bubbling. The usual inner “get outs” were starting to get me het up. What if you have to sign-up in advance? What’s the etiquette? What if I look silly? What if I swallow some raw sewage? Maybe I should just watch this year?
You know what. This time I just refused to listen to my inner and outer doubters. The crowds were gathering and reassuringly about fifty people were also standing shivering in bath robes. No sign-up required. Suddenly, the countdown began “ten, nine, eight….” I took my trousers off “five, four, three” top off, “two, one” !!! Ta-dah!!!!
And so I ran, like the wind, like a fearless little girl – straight in.
Wow, so fresh!! What a feeling! I was so cold, yet my skin felt red hot. I have never felt so alive. Cheesy but true. It might not have been reaching the South Pole or the summit of Kilimanjaro, but for me, it was as symbolic as any epic challenge.
If you need a quick fix away from rut and towards fabulous – this is it. Yes, I have been sneezing for weeks, but by gum I am still buzzing from it!
See you there next year?! Here’s hoping my chum finds her own personal Loonie Dook very soon. Nature holds many free and simple ways to restore. Please just make sure there is a support team with you and that you wear weather appropriate gear should you decide to follow my lead on open water swimming.
Ps: new “tried and tested” reviews in progress…watch this space!