Whether it's a dawn skinny dip in an icy sea, a plunge into the river or a dive in a deserted lake, there's nothing like being in wild water.
Sometimes I walk slowly in, letting the cold water surprise and awaken my toes, legs and then my body before I finally dive under and swim, trying hard to resist the urge to get out again and instead calm my breathing and revel in the wonder of being immersed in cold water.
Nick and I were water babies long before we met. Nick left home at 16 and headed to Cornwall where he had his first job working in a surf job and spent several summers having fun, making friends and vowing that life would always be an adventure.
As a child, I was turning blue before my parents were able to drag me from the baby waves I was sitting, splashing, digging or swimming in.
Together, we first started wild swimming in the River Avon in 2009. I had been diagnosed with lymphoma and started an intense 6 months of chemotherapy, involving a Tuesday every fortnight being pumped full of nausea-inducing drugs. As an antedote, every Monday night just before I went to hospital, we would dive in the river to revel in the wonder of being alive. The cold water immersion also served as a massive boost to my body, as it improves lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, boosting immunity and stimulating blood flow to our vital organs. It is also said to boost energy and feelings of happiness.
Since then, and back to full health, we have swum in many UK rivers, lakes and coastal spots. Here are some of our favourite spots:
Caerfai Bay, Pembrokeshire - For early morning (skinny) dips at any time of year.
The River Avon at Warleigh Weir - For an easy swim up-river.
St Nouns, Pembrokeshire - A secret track leads to a sheltered cove for a more adventurous dip!