Freezing outside? Let's go for a swim

On the coldest day in over two years, Austin native Kyle Fricke is doing something he's never done before and something few people would.

"I'm coming to swim in Barton Springs Pool with below freezing temperatures outside for the first time ever in my life. Why? I don't know man, that's a good question," Fricke said.

Fricke joined his friend Volma Overton on his Sunday workout routine. The same routine that Overton has been doing for over 20 years.

"I like to go for a trail run. After the run, a dip in the pool. The water is 68 degrees year round, and of course the colder it is out, the easier it is to get in the water," Overton said.

For many it may sound crazy but it's not. Dozens of Austinites used the water to warm up Sunday morning. And for those that weren't up for a swim, they were out running on the trail.

"We're idiots." Jamie Cleveland, a marathon runner, said, "We are all training for half marathons or marathons in the upcoming weeks so like it or not we had to get out and log some miles today."

For those that could bear the cold air, they were gifted with a unique weekend running experience.

"Usually the trail is pretty crowded with people on the weekends but I actually kind of liked it today because there weren't really a lot of people. There are only crazy people out." Lewis Tsai, a runner, said, "You get to enjoy it more. It's not as noisy and you're not dodging dogs and strollers the entire time."

And that dedication has not gone unnoticed by businesses in the Barton Springs area.

"Austinites are very stubborn about getting their workouts in so there are always people out. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's there is a bit of a lull but the season always brings out the coffee and hot cocoa drinkers and the cider drinkers as well," Luke McKiernan, assistant general manager at Austin Java, said.

The morning freeze was strong but it could not stop devoted Austinites from doing their part to keep their city weird.

"It's one of those things that you can have a perception of it being crazy. But once you do it, it's not so crazy after you do it," Overton said.

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