Friday, January 30, 2009

Lake swimming (in the winter)

When I last visited Chicago a couple summers ago, I thought it was pretty cool that the city had set up swimming lanes in Lake Michigan, and that people were taking advantage of them. Little did I know that some Chicagoans regularly swim in the Lake during the winter. But that's exactly what the guys who write the Open Water Chicago blog do (be sure to visit the photos they've posted in their January posts).
The Chicago Sun Times published a story about them earlier this week, which includes video footage:
A day before this particular swim, it was so cold, they had to smash through a thin layer of ice to get to open water. Extreme cold never deters them -- only dangerous waves, they say.

Oliva and Schroeder say they enjoy the uncrowded freedom they get from lake swimming.

"It's relaxing," says Schroeder, who lives in Elmhurst. "It's like a meditation thing."
There's no open water in my neighborhood, but I can attest to the exhilaration of exposing yourself to the cold.