Amazingly I did it. Along with over 1,000 other people who are raising money for charities and good causes I ran into the North Sea. And in my case I didn’t just do it once – I did it twice.
It wasn’t the nicest of days. It was raining, a bit windy and quite cold. But it could have been worse. It didn’t snow, it wasn’t icy and I didn’t have a hangover. But I was still a bit nervous. After all the North Sea isn’t exactly warm or calm in summer never mind in the middle of winter. So when my alarm went off I have to say I was tempted to stay in be. But to quote the amazing Debbie Harry “I’m not the kind of girl who gives up just like that, oh no”
So I got up, got ready, wrapped my hot water bottle in a towel, put a flask of hot lemonade (I was driving) and some blankets in a bag and set off up the road to Seaburn. I didn’t know what to expect and was really surprised with the organisation of the event. There were plenty of stewards who arranged to arrange the procession down to the sea and fireman in the water to make sure nobody went in too far an drowned.
About an hour after arriving it was time to take our place in the procession ready to march down to the sea. There were over 30 of us raising money for the Charlie Cookson Foundation, some, like me, were doing it for the first time, others had done it two or three times before. But I think everyone was both excited and a bit anxious as we set off
By this time there was quite a crowd watching including my youngest son Joe and my nephew David. The Mayor was there along with the press so there really was no chance of getting out of it. So off we went, across the road and along the promenade and down the steps to the beach.
Already wet from the rain there didn’t seem much point in delaying things any longer so we all started to run across the sand and into the sea. Some people decided to take it slowly, dip a toe in first before slowly going a little further in. Not me. I just went for it. Straight in, right up to my neck. And it wasn’t cold!! It was freezing!!!
But not for long. After just a few seconds I didn’t feel cold anymore. Actually I didn’t feel anything except exhilarated. I felt amazing and more alive than I had in a very long time. As I came out I spotted David who was videoing everything for me. He was worried that he didn’t have my towel or blanket for me to get dried but all I wanted to do was go back in. So with a couple of other equally crazy people I did.
When I eventually came out I still didn’t feel cold. I got dried and changes and still didn’t feel cold. I got in the car and started to make a video and then it hit me. Suddenly I was shivering. Turns out it was the adrenalin keeping me warm and as it subsided the cold found it’s way in.
I drank my hot lemonade, drove home cuddling my hot water bottle and jumped in a warm bath. Half an hour later after topping it up several times with hot water I still wasn’t warm. Dressed in plenty of warm clothes I headed off to my niece’s house. An hour later full of hot turkey sandwiches and warm ginger wine I still wasn’t properly warm. There was only one thing for it – I went home, went to bed and snuggled up under my duvet to watch TV.
I can honestly say there is no better way to spend a cold Boxing Day morning. Would I do it again? Try and stop me.
Click here to find out how much I raised.