Things I have learned today:
1) Lake Windermere is cold, but mercifully calm (today at least).
2) Wetsuits make you more buoyant. This sounds like a good thing but what it actually means is that your arse rises to the surface and your legs flail about wastefully just above the waterline. This also gives you neck ache if you are a big wimp and don’t like putting your face in the water. (Who, me? Well, maybe…)
3) A hot bath is the best feeling in the world. Ok, this is not news, I have always subscribed to this theory, but today has reaffirmed it. For people with MS, a hot bath can exacerbate symptoms of numbness and concrete legs that don’t work. Today I just did not care – it was absolutely worth not walking for the rest of the evening to indulge in a steaming hot bath laced with a gallon of essential oils.
4) My family and friends are wonderful, supportive people who humour my insane ideas when I know that they probably, well, just think they are insane ideas really.
5) My life today was better because I have MS. I got to swim a mile in my favourite lake, in my favourite part of the world, and raise money for a good cause, and eat crepes au chocolat afterwards (because, I mean, I needed to replenish lost energy, right?) overlooking this beautiful scenery with my husband and daughter.
6) You can always do something. I cried when I watched the Race for Life because I knew I could not run 5K. I wallowed in self-pity and cursed the darkness for a few miserable hours, then I lit a candle and signed up to swim the equivalent of the width of Windermere. I can still do something. And today I realised that the “something” of Plan B can be even better than Plan A would have been.
Lastly, and most importantly, I realised that I do not care how I look in a skin tight wetsuit. (The answer, by the way, is “ridiculous”, but who cares!)