This photo, stolen from fellow swimmer Rachel, captures the eerie lighting in the pool on a cold, dark morning at 5:30 a.m. “Why, oh why, am I doing this?”, I asked myself as I packed my swim bag last night, too sleepy to even decide what to wear in the morning. I argued with myself continually last night and this morning. Freezing on the edge of the pool in my bathing suit, 50 degrees outside, my head screamed resistance. “I don’t want to do this!” After the initial bolt of cold and a few laps of warming up, I remembered why. Waking up and moving right away, particularly in the shocking environment of a pool, is blissful. It gets even better walking to the car after swimming and showering. My senses are heightened. I hear every bird, notice all moving things. I am euphoric (for a while at least).