Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the Swim Again

Having met my oldest friends Jo and Deb at the swimming pool before Christmas, we decided to go swimming together again, just like we did when we were children. Jo's four months younger than me and Deb's four years younger and they are both tiny (Jo's four feet ten, Deb's four feet eight).

But they are both excellent swimmers and Deb's sons are serious competitive swimmers who train every day.

The worst moment this morning was when the alarm went off at seven - - it had to be early because I wanted to eat something before swimming and I also wanted to leave a bit of time between eating and swimming. I really didn't feel like getting up and going out. But I dragged myself out of bed and made a big bowl of porridge.

It was cold and dark and icy when I set off at eight o'clock and the pool's down its own lane which looked very slippery, but I managed not to skid in the car.

Once inside the leisure centre it was really warm. Jo and Deb arrived at the same time as I did, and we got changed and got in the pool - - which was incredibly warm, a bit too warm for me really as I always get warm anyway once I'm moving.

I did sixty-four lengths, which is a mile - I'm making that my regular swim now in preparation for the Great North Swim in Windermere in early September next year. (If anyone fancies doing it too, there are only 1000 places left out of the 6000 there were available!)

But in the time I took to do my sixty-four lengths - about an hour and ten minutes - Jo did eighty lengths. Deb did ninety-something, but didn't really count the number - I noticed her passing me in a blur as she whizzed up and down the pool in a smooth front crawl.

But hey, I've never been a fast swimmer - and those two always have been, and they've certainly always been faster than me.

And it doesn't matter. I'm just pleased that I can swim a mile without feeling tired at the end of it. What is it about swimming that I love so much? I love having my own time, my own thoughts, and I love moving through the water. It makes me feel better for the rest of the day.

Of course, it was a slightly crazy idea, really, going out in the cold, dark, early morning, in this strange time between Christmas and New Year. You probably won't be surprised to learn that, in spite of the warmth of the water, there weren't many people there. Certainly it was a little bit mad of us.

We're going again tomorrow.


Anonymous Ruth said...

Congratulations on your early morning swim, definitely one of the best ways to start the day.

I saw some of the British Gas Great Swim programmes on C4 recently. Seem to remember there were lots of attractive(?) wetsuits and swimming hats - have you got yours on order for October?

1:36 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Swimming in public pools when there's hardly anyone there is delightful. If they could guarantee quiet times I'd be visiting our local pools regularly - mind you - probably not on December 29th! I'd sink.

9:58 pm  

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