There's nothing Sienna Josephson enjoys more than a refreshing dip in the ocean water to clear her head and wash away her daily stresses.
Now, the 33-year-old real estate agent who recently moved to Port Moody from Vancouver is hoping to find like-minded individuals who share her ardour for a bracing swim no matter how cold it gets. She's started a Facebook group to connect with fellow cold-water swimmers and organize weekly plunges at Old Orchard beach.
Josephson said she first dipped her toe in the bracing waters of English Bay at Kits Beach.
"There was a lot of swearing," she said. "Why am I doing this?"
But the rush of endorphins and renewed vigour Josephson felt when she emerged from the chilly water gave her her answer.
"I finally felt enough energy to get through the day."
While Josephson's first plunge was an individual effort, she subsequently connected with a group of regulars who would often retreat to a nearby coffee shop after their seven to 10-minute swim every Wednesday.
"It became a social thing," she said. "It created a sense of community."
Since first forming her Port Moody Cold Dips group on Facebook, Josephson said she’s had inquiries from several interested people. She hopes they follow through.
"It's easier to do it when you're with other people."
Josephson said the dips don't require any particular swimming ability, just the courage to wade into the cold water, float around for a few moments, maybe dunk your head, then retreat to the embrace of a thick towel and robe followed by a trip to the coffee shop.
"It really helps clear your brain fog," she said. "This whole thing is more about mental well-being."