I’d always wanted to skinny dip. I did it about 15 years ago with a group of friends on holiday in Spain.. in the dark, in the heat, on the sand, in a younger body!
This time was different.
An October morning on Brighton beach, in broad daylight, in the cold, on the shingle, in a bigger older body, but one that I am slowly learning to love.
Inspired by Mama Gena doing the very same to celebrate 1000 reviews on her ‘Pussy’ book a few weeks back, Anna and I thought we’d do it to metaphorically raise a glass to reaching 1000 followers on Instagram and a brilliant first expo at Rest Fest!
We went well prepared, towels, warm clothes, a flask of hot tea, some raw chocolate and of course a More. Mat to sit on.
We headed to the ‘nudist’ section of the beach, only a few lonely dog walkers were around, but the passing buses and beach side buildings had a clear view! I didn’t think too much, I just wanted to do it and leave…
I hadn’t shaved, my body confidence was on vacation and I know if I had hesitated I probably would have backed out. However, something inside me was cheering me on, telling me I could do it and that I was beautiful just as I am. (Not that physical beauty is important, but full disclosure here, I still have body image issues and It’s something I am working on daily.)
Quickly clothes were stripped off. Camera was set up to film it. Ready… GO!
I was doing it! I was running stark naked on Brighton beach towards the icy water… which was pretty turbulent due to the wind.
As soon as my toes hit the water, the first thing I shouted was… ‘It’s warm!!’. See October is the best time to do it, cos the water temperature is actually at it’s highest. Around 16 degrees that day. Anna was already in… she was wearing wet shoes, I wasn’t. Shingles are ouchy!
The first wave hit me.. WOW what a feeling! All conscious thought just left me, I was just feeling EVERYTHING. It took my breath away, but I didn’t want to get out, I went in further and eventually managed to get fully under the water after standing off against a few strong waves!
It was cold, but it was honestly one of the best sensations I have ever felt. We stayed in for about a minute… I would have stayed longer, but my sensible brain kicked in, so out we waded. Goosebumps from the cold wind on my wet skin.
We wrapped ourselves in towels and collapsed onto our mat, exhilarated, laughing. Hot tea and chocolate was the perfect treat. (Thanks Anna!). My body was tingling all over, burning hot. I felt SO ALIVE!
Gradually my body temperature levelled out and I kept thinking, how am I so warm, sitting here in nothing but a towel in the freezing cold?! We sat for a while, just soaking it all in, looking out at the ocean. As corny as it sounds, I felt at one with nature in that moment. But the most overwhelming feeling was pride and love for the body that allowed me that experience.
In that moment, I didn’t give a FUCK about my wobbly bits, my body hair, or whether anyone was watching, I was just being.
We dressed, gathered up our stuff and headed home.
There is no moral to this story, I just wanted to share it and say that if you ever get the chance to get naked on a beach and run into the sea on a cold October morning… DO IT!