Cold Water Immersion; Skill Required: NIL. Balls Required: NIL. Friends Required: At Least One.
Introducing My Tribe...
I N T R O D U C I N G Michelle Moroney // She started it! Yoga Teacher, Business Owner and Mother of 3. Michelle told us all the benefits of a cold shower last March, and it somehow morphed into us standing on the slipway shivering at 7am the next day. Michelle founded the hugely successful @cliffs_of_moher_retreat and fits more into one day than anyone I know. Knows even a minimalist needs a @dryrobe. Excitable puppy meets Dalai Lama, you’ll find her drinking a g&t dancing to reggae after a 3 hour yoga meditation class.
I N T R O D U C I N G Sarah McMaster // Project Manager, Arial Acrobat & Singer. Pocket sized and rocket fuelled. I have no idea why Sarah is working a 9-5 and not flying around some theatre production, One of the most beautiful, talented and physically strong women I know. You’ll find her somewhere in her car underneath the bicycles, dogs, surfboards, spray paints & camping gear.
I N T R O D U C I N G Aoife Ni Dhuda // Podiatrist, Pole Dancer and Harpist. I first met Aoife when she stopped by the surf shop and dropped off a massive beach clean bag for recycling. Joined us late spring and quickly became a regular swimmer. Excellent pole dance instructor, although she did let me face plant and carpet burn my cheek that one time. Can be found at the gaeltacht bar drinking whisky and speaking Irish.
I N T R O D U C I N G Sophie Bradford // Tri-lingual Teacher, Organic Gardener and Occasional Surf Model. Sophie arrives sporadically at swim meets, after running a thousand or so miles with the dogs beforehand in training for her next half marathon. You’ll find her boasting about her hot shower, but after surviving an Irish winter with no electricity or water, we’ll let her off.
I N T R O D U C I N G Rosie McMahon // Yoga Teacher, Lady Biker, Mountain Climber and Mother of 4. Rosie found us through the powers of instagram and throws herself into the ocean at any opportunity. Normally the first one to toss her swimmers out the window and howl under the full moon. Can be found riding her bike south for solo swims (which always feel 10 degrees colder than group swims…)
I N T R O D U C I N G Alison Derham // Occupational Therapist, Cookery School Graduate & Blogger. Alison loves all things ethical and sustainable, and is a very good person to visit if you are hungry due to her magic culinary skills. Always up for an adventure and is secretly good at pole dancing. Apologises unnecessarily all the time. You’ll find her hiking a mountain solo in some far flung place with her keep cup, klean kanteen, reusable straw, bamboo toothbrush and spork in tow.
I N T R O D U C I N G Lisa Moran // Sustainability Consultant, Environmentalist and Poet. Lisa also found us through the power of social media, and showed us all up on her first day when she stayed in the water twice as long as any of us. Some may call wearing a 2mm swimsuit cheating, but it IS eco friendly fabrics and we will get her in the nude one day. Can be found venturing over to Wicklow where she teases @thehappypear men for staying in even less than us.
I N T R O D U C I N G Steph Sheahan // Designer, Maker and Blogger. Steph only joined us recently, at the coldest time of the year, fair play, and is one of our newest friends. When she arrived last week to her 5th swim the only thing she said to me was “This Is Addictive!” before throwing off her towel and running into the ocean. Can be found selling colourful handmade jewellery at the Dublin Flea market.
I N T R O D U C I N G Carla Young // Senior Financial Services Manager and New Mother, pictured here just a couple of weeks after giving birth. Carla showed us all how to boss pregnancy; swimming until two days before baby Sadhbh arrived (pronounced Saiv for those without an Irish tongue). Can be found sneaking a quick lunchtime swim between breast feeds.
I N T R O D U C I N G Ciara O'Halloran // Director of @redbankfoodco and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner. Known as Oyster Ciara. Does an unparalleled rendition of the All Blacks Haka, male and female versions. Can be found shucking oysters at any of the Irish Food Festivals.
I N T R O D U C I N G @Dearblhaglynn // Human rights documentary filmmaker, yoga instructor and university lecturer. Dearblha spends her ‘holidays’ in conflict war zones documenting the resilient, strong women who live there. The only person I’ve ever known to get ‘cold rash’ from swimming (like heat rash, without the heat). You’ll find her running late to almost everything!
And to all the ones I haven’t featured yet, I’m looking at you; the ones on extended holiday (@olga_polga), the ones who make their kids late for school because they squeeze the swim into the school run (@doolinyoga), the ones who come when their work allows (@kitekitty @ailbhemcmahon), and the ones with serious injuries who still get in anyway (@lilbluey), the ones who get a rash from the cold (@dearbhlaglynn), the ones who’ve moved away and left us (@hannahpeee1 @busylittlefoodie @ashleybeer @babysyrupz @sineadcon1), the ones I wish came more often (@georgekarbus that’s for Kate), and the ones that visit from a far (@alinebock @hyperdimensionalhuman @jeanne4350), the ones that aren’t on instagram (Tracey? Rebecca?), to the men who occasionally join us @james_aiken, @monaghangordon, @cullorquill) and to all the others I haven’t mentioned…
You all rock.
Thanks to all those who stayed with me through the introducing #risefierce series, not so much to the 95 who unfollowed me, I didn’t like you anyway.
S A F E T Y S O P H // I thought I better run a little safety information from the NHS alongside, as swimming in cold water also comes with risks.
Outdoor swimming in cold water saps your body heat, so your arms and legs get weaker quickly. If this happens, you could get into trouble if you're unable to get out of the water, so: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
* Wear a wetsuit for anything more than a quick dip (we are only staying in for 3-5 minutes at this time of year, and up to 25 minutes in the summer months)
* Don't jump into cold water, wade in slowly instead
* Make sure you understand the tides, rips, currents and waves where you are swimming. If you don’t know, ask someone more experienced
* Never go alone, we always try to swim with a friend or two
* Swim close to the shore (if it’s rough we most often swim parallel to shore well within our depth)
* Take warm clothes to put on afterwards - even in summer you'll feel colder when you get out. I wear a @dryrobe and get warmed up quick⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
* Take extra care in reservoirs, which are deeper and colder than lakes and rivers
* Shivering and teeth chattering are the first symptoms of hypothermia. If that happens, get out of the water and warm up