Growing Old, Going Cold : Notes on Swimming, Aging, and Finishing Last

$22.95 Sale Save

As she aged, Kathleen McDonnell discovered her secret superpower: swimming in cold water.

What is it about freezing cold water that draws people in? Throughout history, humans have gravitated to cold water swimming and celebrated its healing properties, calling it the secret to good health and serenity. Today, cold water swimmers gather in groups from Galway to Georgian Bay to jump into frigid waters for fun, competition, and even as a form of activism and protest.

Kathleen McDonnell started swimming in Lake Ontario, infamous for its chilly depths, because it was close to home. As time went on she began to rely on a daily dip, even breaking through winter ice to raise her spirits and refresh her body. In this wide-ranging memoir, McDonnell shares her love of cold water swimming and the lessons she has learned from a slow and steady commitment to the waves.

Praise & Recognition

"Playwright McDonnell revisits her passion for 'cold-water swimming' in this gorgeous work that muses on the environment, love, and self-acceptance... Readers will find themselves taken by McDonnell’s vivid recollections."

Publishers Weekly

"[McDonnell's] book is breezy, full of links and information about swimming clubs and venues and replete with encouraging tips... Reading Growing Old, Going Cold made me wonder."

Literary Review of Canada

"Far easier to get into than a cold lake, Growing Old, Getting Cold is somehow both mellow and energizing... [McDonnell] models commitment to one’s own wellbeing, both physical and mental. Taking time every day to do something she loves, she reminds us of the power of the things we choose to do: of habits that keep us healthy but that also make us happy."

Winnipeg Free Press

"McDonnell's reflections on the troubling treatment of the natural environment are very insightful. Take a dive into this warm and pleasing read — there’s nothing cold about it!"



Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Genre: Adult Nonfiction

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 224

ISBN: 978-1-77260-255-5

Kathleen McDonnell

About the Author

Kathleen McDonnell

Kathleen McDonnell is an award-winning author and playwright of adult and children’s literature, including The Notherland Journeys series – The Nordlings, The Shining World, and The Songweavers – and Honey, We Lost the Kids. Born in Chicago, Kathleen lives in Toronto with her family.
Learn More