RIP wild swimming. Nature’s ‘cure all’ has thrown in the towel | Eva Wiseman

Immersing yourself in cold water never did appeal to many of us, but raw sewage and now medical evidence all mean the trend could soon be out of its depth

Farewell, wild swimming, it’s been fun. Well, not fun. Not “fun” in the traditional sense of the word. More, I suppose, it’s been baffling, sometimes bloodcurdling and, eventually, a banal cliché flattened by overuse, but this is an obituary of sorts, so we will be kind.

Much in the same way Lucozade rebranded itself from medicine to energy drink, in the past decade this hobby pivoted to wellness, adding the “wild” having spent many years known simply as “swimming”. Led in no small part by this newspaper, it became a trend, elevated by its health-giving properties and photos of nice ladies grinning in swimwear. It was not for me. No, I am a person quite tied to dry land, and cosiness, and a lack of eels scraping my shins, but I applaud those who did it. Those brave enough to jump straight into lakes, whether for exercise, their mental health, their headaches or their Instagrams. You always knew who was a wild swimmer, because they would tell you, frequently. And I’d applaud until my palms stung, because this was a feat of endurance and bravery so far beyond my own pathetic limits that they might as well have jumped into an active volcano rather than the local pond. But.

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