THE REFUGE: FREEZING AND FRYING FOR FUN

by admin on November 15, 2011

cold swim

esme had the BEST swim the other morning, and it came about in a very unexpected way.  she trooped up to the front desk of her club, grabbed a few towels and learned to her dismay that the pool heater (which was supposed to have been fixed 2 days before) was still broken!  ay ay ay…..esme had actually refrained from swimming for 2 days and was desperate for a fix.

well, making the best of a bad situation, esme decided to don her flip-flops, swim-suit and rashguard and wrap herself in a towel to ride the exercise bike.  upon returning to the locker-room, she found claire in the sauna and sat there to chat.  it felt fine, but really made one long for a swim.  so esme and claire tip-toed out into the cold to investigate the hot-tub and pool.  they had been told that the pool was around 60 degrees.  in esme’s long-ago bay-swimming days this would have been positvely balmy, but now……

they stewed in the hot-tub for awhile.  esme couldn’t refrain from dipping a toe in the pool. cold at first, then not too bad as your toe became numb.  body part by body part, esme lowered herself in.  she had taken the precaution of adding a wet-suit cap in addition to her rash-guard, and before you knew it she was swimming tentative little laps!  when she emerged she was ready for a hot shower, but quite ecstatic!  cold-water swimming is actually one of the very few activities in life for which esme might be called brave.

a little background.  esme’s gym has recently built an eccentric facility called  “refuge“.  it consists of a huge eucalyptus steam room, an even huger dry sauna with a view, and several little cold pools of varying degrees of iceyness.  in addition, there are hot-tubs, waterfalls, and a room with stressless chairs and new-age music for relaxing.  most of us have been skeptical (to say the least) about this endeavor.  however, the gym (which plans to charge for the refuge in the future) enticed members with a free trial.

esme tried it last week and was pleasantly surprised.  you get hot, you get cold, you relax.  then you’re supposed to repeat this 2 – 4 times.  esme lasted 3 times.  you lose track of time and some of your aches and pains are put aside.  the relaxing period entailed a kind of body rush that esme imagined to be similar to a drug experience!

will this be the next big thing?  who knows?  but it did have the advantage of preparing esme for swimming in an unheated pool.  and she slept like a baby the following night.

if you have the opportunity, try it:  it’s cool….uh….hot…..umm, well you know!

esme

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