If ‘laughter, shrieks, shivers, selfies and tea’ sound like your kind of wake up call, set your alarm for dawn this Friday.
The Rise & Swim group (also known as the #BalticBeours) meet up on Fountainstown beach every week to blow off the cobwebs with a refreshing plunge into the icy sea before work.
As well as waking you up faster than a vat of espresso, cold water swimming has some serious health benefits; it can boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, ease anxiety and aid muscle recovery.
Oh, and did we mention it leaves your skin glowing?
The swim is the brainchild of yogi Emer Harrington, who teaches at Himalaya Yoga Valley and Kathryn Sheehan of Yoga Le Grá. Everybody is welcome – all you need to do is rock up with your togs and a towel to take part.
The sea-loving friends were soaking in the seaweed baths at Rocky Bay when they decided to start every weekend with a sunrise salt water swim.
“We realised how healing, therapeutic and awakening the sea was for us, whatever the weather or time of day, and how lucky we were to live near some of the most beautiful beaches.” say Emer and Kathryn.
“We decided to give early morning swimming a go. Thinking that most other people would think we were totally bonkers, we were delighted and excited to find that we weren’t the only souls willing to get up early, bare our cold sleepy bodies to the sea, and run in fully immersing ourselves in the cold, wild waters.
“We found a tribe of wonderful people ready to jump in with us. And that’s how this little community started. It’s a beautiful thing, of laughter, shrieks, shivers, selfies and tea.”
The group meets every Friday morning at 7.20am on Fountainstown beach.
Afterwards, swimmers wrap themselves in towels and enjoy a warm cuppa while watching the sun come up over the ocean.
We can’t think of a better way to finish the week.