A wife’s perspective on living with a cold water obsessive swimmer…….

Firstly, you find wetsuits in your house……..everywhere. On the washing line, in the greenhouse, in the wardrobe and the shower cubicle. They are either dry or dripping or somewhere in between. When you want a shower you need to remove a wetsuit from the shower cubicle, which involves carrying one of the articles, normally dripping, from one afore-mentioned location to another.

Secondly, you have no idea where you other half is during the day until the Facebook post of another one of his swimming location comes up on your Newsfeed. Although saying this, I have now got used to the fact that a swim will somehow be shoehorned into every day if possible……no matter how much I put on his “to do list”. I quite look forward to seeing his photographs of the scenery I don’t get to see from the loch side……….he’s actually becoming quite a good photographer.

His mobile phone has now become a research tool to find out where, when and with who he can swim with next. It’s constantly attached to his hands and you know when he’s secured a swim with one of his groups as his face lights up like a wee boy at Christmas.

Trips away will always contain a swim. I’ve resigned to this fact now and I am at peace with it.

The first one was a trip up North to Plockton for us both. Give him his due, he didn’t head off during the day when we should have been spending quality time together. Instead he headed off before I woke up and came back just as breakfast was being served which resulted in me daily having breakfast with a mad shaking guy in 3 layers of clothing and a woolly hat with uncontrollable hands trying to warm up!! The looks from the other residents at the hotel were of both concern and terror.



The most recent trip was my birthday weekend. “Let’s go away for the weekend” he said. “I have people to look after the boys” he said. “We can relax and do nothing” he said. We headed up to a place near Glenshee and fair enough on the first day we arrived we did nothing. The second day involved a 20km walk and 4, yes I repeat, 4 dips in the water for the boy. Okay, so I have to admit at one point I thought what the hell I might as well join him but that was only because it was a roasting hot day and we’d been walking for hours….



I have in fact taken dips in the Scottish waters a few times………well 6 I think to be precise. It’s not my favourite thing to do and I hate him at the time for it (it’s cold for me even in a wetsuit) but you do feel better once you come out, but don’t tell him that.


I worry about him swimming alone. He often “forgets” to tell me where he is going or if his plan changes. He assures me he completes a full risk assessment in his head before every swim and he’s got to the stage now he knows when he needs to get out or not go in in the first place. I have to trust him on this…

The positive thing in this whole process though is the change in a person from being in the cold water. He’s always been upbeat and positive but now he’s unbelievably hyper about life. He’s the only person who I know who gets up in the morning and is excited about the upcoming day………….every day. The wetsuits, uncertainty and shared trips away are a small price to pay for having a happy man in the search for uncontrollable hands.

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