Here is a sign asking for snow.
At first it feels like drudgery waking up that early and it is dreary and cold and your bed is so, very warm. It's still dark outside and snowing when you drive your car at six am and you wonder why this seemed like such a good idea the night before.
Now, you've done it. You've put yourself into a swimsuit in the middle of January - and you're Irish and pasty for god's sake! The worst part comes next. You stand with your toes just hanging over the edge and contemplate jumping. It seems impossible, you know? To willingly immerse yourself in cool water, but it's not like you can turn around and walk back to the locker room...Or can you?
That's it. You do it. You take that flying leap and suddenly you are chilly and wet, but you're moving. You decide it feels pretty good, after all. You're on your back now and your arms are cutting through the lane. Your goggles are tainted by drops of water and make all the lights above you look like they are surrounded by colorful halos. You are fluid and slick and even though you can't see yourself, you think this must be what real beauty is. It's not that perfect skin you don't have, or those perfectly proportioned features you can't imagine. It's just this - this feeling of weightlessness and strength and fluidity.