Growing Old, Going Cold

Growing Old, Going Cold Notes on Swimming, Aging, and Finishing Last

What is it about freezing cold water that draws people in? Throughout history, humans have gravitated to cold water swimming and celebrated its healing properties, calling it the secret to good health and serenity. Today, cold water swimmers gather in groups from Galway to Georgian Bay to jump into frigid waters for fun, competition, and even as a form of activism and protest. Kathleen McDonnell started swimming in Lake Ontario, infamous for its chilly depths, because it was close to home. As time went on she began to rely on a daily dip, even breaking through winter ice to raise her spirits and refresh her body. In this wide-ranging memoir, McDonnell shares her love of cold water swimming and the lessons she has learned from a slow and steady commitment to the waves.
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