Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Lido Creature Swims Again

I watched some narwhals swim up a channel in the Arctic ice in Nature's Great Events, narrated by My Hero David Attenborough.

Narwhals are the ones that look a bit like dolphins but on the front they have a long, single tusk, like a kind of dolphiny unicorn, in fact.

As they swam, close together, up the channel I wondered what they were saying to each other and concluded that, in my opinion, all they would ever have to say to each other is "Oy! Watch what you're doing with your tusk - - I said Oy! Watch what you're - - " etc.

Anyway, talking of the Arctic Ocean, here is somewhere slightly colder: Ilkley Lido.

Yes, that's me, this morning. A lovely sunny morning and everything but it's been three weeks since I've swum in the wetsuit and I found it really hard going. Also I think I'm still tired from the long journey back from holiday and the 283 loads of washing I've done since. Okay, perhaps my statistics aren't quite as accurate as Silverback's but I think you get the picture.

Forty lengths is what I did. A mile is 36 lengths of this pool. The first ten were hell. I was out of breath, nervous, hating the fact that the wetsuit has too much air in it for ages and then makes me too hot. Stephen, standing on the poolside, listened patiently to my grumblings.

So after the first ten I felt really defeated and I nearly gave up and got out but I thought I'd just try another couple - - and then suddenly I'd done eighteen and that's nearly twenty - - so I thought I'd get to thirty - - and that's nearly thirty-six - - and when I'd done thirty-six I felt fine suddenly so thought I'd do another four and make it forty.

I've never been so tired before, though, probably because I'm rather out of practice. Although I did swim on holiday - in heated pools with gorgeous views of France - I never did the full mile. and I didn't swim in the wetsuit of course.

But one good thing was that I didn't get low blood sugar - a huge bowl of porridge and two slices of toast beforehand seemed to do the trick.

And then, after I'd had lunch in the cafe, a lady came up to me.

"Excuse me," she said, "but are you training for something?"

I told her about the Great North Swim in Windermere, which is on September 4th (and that's two weeks yesterday AAAAAAAAAAARGH!)

"My grandma lived by Windermere and I used to swim in it a lot," she said, "and I can tell you that Ilkley Lido is colder. Anyway, I wish you all the best - I was watching you swimming up and down and I was impressed by how many lengths you did."

I was so cheered by this! Suddenly I felt a lot better. I must keep believing that I can do this.


Anonymous ruth said...

I totally believe you can and will do it. I don't think you'll encounter any narwhals though.

9:05 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

As American motivational speakers always say - if you really want something badly enough you can do it. Usually this is pure tripe but in your case Daphne I'm confident you will succeed. Go for it gal!

9:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do remember to 'fill' your wetsuit up with water before you start. I'm sure you'll find it so much easier if you displace all the air that causes you to be too bouyant. Just dip under the water with the zip partly undone... then zip it up again and swim away.

10:23 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Count me as one of your supporters. I do not think you should fill up your wet suit with water, however. as that action will either make you one with the water or make you sink.

5:18 pm  
Blogger colin said...

I Know you will do do it. Enjoying reading about all the training. I am worn out now just reading the blog.

6:50 pm  

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