Joining a gang…

Yesterday seen me join a gang… never thought I would
utter those words but yes it’s true!  I
joined the “Donaghadee Chunky Dunkers”.
A raving mad gang of friends of every age, gender and size. Nutters who
have in common the love of swimming in the sea throughout the year.
As you will know from previous blogs I’ve
been considering this move for about a week.
During the middle of last week I did two reconnaissance missions just to
check out what all was involved and what equipment was needed.
In short I learnt that you needed to have 3 things:
Courage to endure the first minute of shock as
the body adjusts to the cold
A boldness not to care/worry about others
thought of you in your swim wear
A humongous towel to ensure you kept your decency
about you at all times
Having ordered item 3 over the internet, a large towel
the size of the town hall I knew I had that one covered (pardon the pun).  I knew from my cycling days that I could switch
off to what people thought. I was that fat lad in lycra and benefited greatly
from it.  Yes people may have been
sniggering but whilst they entertained themselves by laughing at others, I was
having the time of life and bagging memories I hold dear and that will last.  I know which side of that equation I would
rather be on.
Now knowing I had items 2 & 3 covered thoughts went to
item 1.  As the weekend passed I knew in
my knower that 75% of me really wanted to do it whilst bizarrely the other 25%
was trying to talk me out of it. Tuesday came and I was shattered and having to
deal with the aftermath of my first Pilates class the day before.  So when Wednesday came I knew it was now or
never.  I grabbed myself and my
photographer and headed down.
As we arrived yet again I couldn’t get over how warm and
welcoming the gang is, it’s phenomenal. I barely know the majority of folks
there yet immediately I was made to feel like family.  Many other organisations could learn just a
lot from this wee group.  The moment
arrived and people started heading out to the water.  As the water enveloped my feet I was
surprised to find that it wasn’t as cold as I expected.  As I gently nudged deeper a wave of generous
proportions hit me around the waist and the sting of the cold started to break
into my consciousness.  In a moment of
madness I decided I would let the next wave ride over me as I sunk deep into
the water.  The gently sting moved up a
gear but nowhere near to the level I was expecting.  In a short moment or two later I had acclimatised
and was actually feeling exhilarated.
A towel/robe the size of the town hall…
When I was young I took great pleasure in doing head stands whilst
in the water swimming.  A thing that in
adulthood I now do as a matter of course without thinking.  Second nature I dived and let my feet hang in
the air where once my head was.  As I
surfaced I heard the sound of laughter as my fellow chunkies chuckled at my manoeuvres.  I loved it!!
I note on the groups Facebook page that over 200 people have
‘liked’ the page.  Can you imagine the banter
and craic of 200 people swimming in Donaghadee bay… amazing!
As I close I leave you with this thought for the
weekend.  When I was cycling I used to
see old boys in lycra sit in coffee shops and enjoy cycling whilst the world
passed by, they were living the life and had BIG smiles on their faces.  I loved the way they didn’t care what they
looked like or what people thought of them, they were living in the moment and
no-one could rob them of it.  The chunky
dunkers are another group of similar joy filled character that deeply inspires
me.  What’s your idea of living life and what’s
holding you back?  Tell me it’s not the
thoughts of others…
Enjoy your weekend! Talk soon…

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