Just keep swimming

A few days ago, I decided to go for a swim. This was the first real bit of exercise I’d done since lockdown began.

I read the covid rules on the website and secretly hoped they were no longer in use and went off to the pool. On arrival, I paid and then double-checked what they were. Thankfully, all rules had been lifted.

So, I get in the changing room and see most people had opted for trust over lockers and left their personal belongings in the changing room. Like the true sheep I am, I do the same.

A quick shower and I take the plunge into the shallow end.

It’s lane swimming so my first big decision is the slow or medium lane. I hadn’t got my goggles, who knew where they were, so I had decided it would just be breaststroke. The slow lane had 3 swimmers and medium 2. I decided to go medium to keep the numbers even.

I merrily set off for my first length and think this was a good idea. By length 4, it’s a 25m pool. I’m starting to question if it really was a good idea. I look over to the fast lane and there is a man in what I’d guess were his 70s smashing out the front crawl. Yet, here I am, blowing after 100m.

I think “be strong and do another lap” which I manage, back in the shallow end I take a break. This time I glance over to the slow lane where I see an equally elderly looking woman, who is happily swimming along without a hint of effort.

Knowing 70 year olds have more gas in the tank was the motivation I needed to get a few more lengths in. This was a swim before work so I had decided I needed to get out around half past to get to my desk on time. At 25 past I look at the clock and think, I can’t get out yet, everyone will know I’m unfit so I best do another lap and then I can get out.

I’m not saying Adam Peaty needs to worry yet, but it doesn’t take 5 minutes to do a lap, so I decide to do another, which quickly leads into another. Here I decide, it’s best to get out and to make it work on time.

I always thought I liked swimming as you didn’t notice you were sweating as you were surrounded by water. I knew I was sweating. So decide to take a quick shower poolside and then another one in the changing room. These are never that hot so the perfect way to end a swim.

However, by the time I reached my desk to start my day’s work, I was still bright red in the face. I won’t even get started on the muscle ache I suffered the next day!

I think the lesson here is either to go more regularly to keep fitness level up or to realise 70 year olds are in a different league and I shouldn’t compete!

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