Back to the Pool: 1 week to go


Writing this as I sit in the changing rooms at central baths, dripping dry. I choose drip dry rather than towel dry. Who actually enjoys scrubbing themselves with a scratchy towel?! Just one of the many things I hate about swimming pool.

Oh, swimming. Such an onslaught to the sences. Pungent chlorine drifts from the pool to the changing rooms and beyond, cloaking you on an antibacterial haze. Children, somehow managing to enjoy themselves, inadvertantly splash you and then show off by swimming to the deep end whilst smiling. Tangy water up your nostrils followed by PANICED SPLUTTERING AND WIDE EYED FEAR! Out of breath, weak from effort, I am a desperate figure that edges slowly, slowly, from one end of the pool to the other.

The life guards survey me with faint interest. I think this is for two reasons. Firstly, my swimwear is startlingly bright and very clearly designed for sunbathing and not exercise (though, seriously, Wolverhampton, if I’m the only swimmer wearing leopard print in the pool, is it ME that’s the problem??). Also because I guess they have to pay attention to the person who looks like they’re most likely to start drowning. This is definitely me.

Nevertheless, the week has marked some big milestones! A week ago, for the first time probably ever, I swam two lengths without stopping. As I bobbed up and down, I thought, this is probably the first time I’ve ever trained hard enough at a sport to actually improve. Four days later, I swam three lengths without stopping. By Thursday I want to be able to do four…and then my swim is on Sunday.

The swimming today stopped when Wolverhampton Swimming Club arrived. They’re all probably about 15, and sauntered around in packs. More and more of them arrived, while the lifeguards ominously started making extra lanes in the pool. One – the leader of the pack – made a show of being the first to dive into the pool, swimming furiously from one end to the other, splashing everybody in his wake. The rest wooped and hollared and then they were all jumping in, the pool was all mixed up in a flurry of activity and where it had been nice and calm suddenly there were actual waves. It was SCARY. I got out of there asap.

My swim is in one week. People keep asking if I have a wet suit. I don’t, but I’ve been growing my leg hair for like two months so I guess it’ll have the same effect? Let’s pray it does!

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Kisses from the missus


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