I'm Edward Downpatrick, a Highlands-based, nature-loving, cold-water swimming loon. The benefits of cold water exposure are, I believe, untold. Our ancestors thousands of years back had greater resistance to cold temperatures and indeed, more robust immune systems because their muscles were largely coated by brown fat rather than white fat, which proliferates in the average ~20° degree stasis in which we tend to exist. Brown fat has a consistency more akin to muscle and protects the spinal column and our vital organs much more efficiently than white. The now world-famous Wim Hof, along with scientists in the field, have proven that exposing and immersing ourselves to cold temperatures, especially through water, is an immune system booster, quite aside from the wondrous flood of endorphins released. Navy Seals will tell you that they never have a shower that doesn't involve cold water. Why not feel more awake?
I knew I loved swimming or indeed simply dipping in cold water (sometimes there ain't room for a stroke) and have done so in glacial lakes, wintry rivers, and the world's coldest seas. I keep going back in, and moreover searching for new bodies into which to immerse myself, because of their ability to reset me and in no small measure, for the mind-altering euphoria they can bring. Like many at the more emotionally-sensitive end of the spectrum, I can enjoy ecstatic highs and suffer terrible lows. When the black dog of depression rears its ugly head, as it has done in pronounced fashion at several life junctures, nature and the theatre of healing tonics she offers have come to the rescue, cheesy as I know that sounds. There's not just an inkling, feeling, or bias to this, but scientific analysis and empirical conclusion too. I'll for the rest of my days do what I can to get the word out there and closer to home, to encourage my loved ones. I love what Chilly Dippers stands for, is doing, and will achieve. In the end it's all about the wonders around us and the joy they bring. Life's a wee bit too short not to.