Call me a wimp if you must, but I do not like cold water, or even coolish water for that matter.
I don't recall if cold water bothered me in my younger years, but I suspect it did not because kids and teens are not too bright and have a built in tolerance for such things as cold water and even cold weather.
I can remember running out to my car in -10C weather wearing a T-shirt and thinking there is no point in grabbing a jacket because my car will be warm in a few minutes and then I won't need a jacket so why should I waste 20 seconds of my life digging it out of the closet (where my mom kept putting it for some reason) only to have to take it off again.
With logic like that it's amazing I didn't die of pneumonia, or a case of the stupids or something.
Anyway, cold-weather follies aside, I don't ever recall worrying about how cold the swimming pool was or how cold the lake was on a hot summers day.
I just dove in, splashed around and had fun.
Now that I am much older and wiser – I grab a hoodie if it even looks cool outside – I have developed an aversion to cold water.
And I am not just talking about North-Atlantic-hit-an-iceberg cold, I am talking about local lakes kind of cold.
Some may not even notice the water temperature, but I have a tough time plunging into the frigid waters around me.
I am fine at first as I make my descent into the icy depths of an area pond, but then things change.
As the water goes above my knee I start to slow my forward advance, my breathing becomes a little sharper and I might even stutter a word or two.
A little farther out into the water I reach what I call the red zone: the area between mid-thigh and my man nipples.
This is the most temperature-sensitive area of my body. As my suit starts to get wet I slow down even more, my breath becomes noticeably sharper and I know at any second a certain part of my anatomy that does not do well in cold water is about to be dunked.
And once that milestone is passed, then I have to get my stomach wet. Now one would think based on the size of my stomach I would have enough insulation to fend off the Arctic-like assault on my senses, but nope – it is just plain cold.
But then things change again, and for some reason my chest and shoulder regions are immune to the borderline freezing temperatures that is a mountain lake – but first I have to get that far in.
I don't like cold water because it is cold – simple as that.
A hot tub, hot springs or pretty much any form of water with the pre-curser of 'hot' in it is more my speed.
I have never met a hot tub I didn't like, or a hot spring that couldn't entice me to enter its warm bosom of relaxation.
The problem is there are not a lot of hot tubs or hot springs at the local beaches, so I try to force myself to dip into the water and endure the deathly cold.
Sure there are kids and little old ladies floating around while I tenuously make my way from shore, but the shame of being a water wussy does not outweigh my distain for cold water.
So if you see a tall, middle-aged balding guy standing in water up to his knees shivering like he just fell off the Titanic, come over and say 'Hi.'
Copyright 2015, Darren Handschuh