Saturday, July 7

Day 189: First Swim of the Summer

"Swimming once, swimming twice, swimming in water cold as ice"
- Words of a summer girl in Stockholm 2012

Today was a swimming kind of day. I started out by riding my bicycle down to Eriksdalsbadet, which is this exercise and sport center in Stockholm with wonderful, outdoor swimming pools. I swam laps in the fifty-meter outdoor pool and worked a little on my "tan". I say "tan" in quotes because I am still blindingly white for this time of year. So after I got my exercise in and rode home, my husband and I decided that getting a little more sun and possibly going for our first swim of the season, in the waters of Stockholm, sounded like a good idea. We packed up a quick picnic and headed off on our bicycles. 

The secret spot we frequent on Kungsholmen, usually deserted, had a scattering of people who obviously had the same idea as us. But rather than scout out another place, we decided to join the crowd already there. We found a decent area to settle in and laid out our stuff. We then undressed down to our swimsuits and immediately headed down to the water for a dip, before I changed my mind or became a *bad kruka. 

It wasn't exactly overcast but the sun wasn't shining brightly with a blue background either. The sun had been moving in and out of the clouds but at this particular moment it was out. I stuck my toes in. It was a bit colder than the swimming pool, which I also thought was cold. Did I really want to get in? Yes. Well, mostly I wanted to get in. I said, "Let's count to three and both go in at the same time." My husband looked at me for a moment and said, "You aren't going to get in." To which I replied, "Yes, I will! I promise!" So we counted, "One, two, three," and in I went, with him following behind me.

I'll admit that it was a somewhat reluctant step I took off the safety of my rock. The water literally was ice cold. I got out immediately but there was no denying that I had gotten in. And with little to no hesitation I might add. I was extremely proud of myself. I didn't even need any coaxing or bribing. My husband may say otherwise but I am sticking to my version of the story.

Our first swim of the summer... What a glorious feeling it was. Afterward we sat back and ate our sandwiches with barbecued potato chips and fresh, Swedish strawberries for dessert. We even decided to take another swim a little later. That time I stayed in a little longer. But not much. Ah... summer in Stockholm.

*Swedish for someone who is a chicken when it comes to swimming. It literally translates to "swimming pot" but is used to call someone a chicken.

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