I feel that I’m ok to say what I’m about to say, but only because there is more to say afterwards. Here goes: I hate swimming in a swimming pool, I really really do! There, it’s out there. I dread it before I go, the changing rooms are ice rooms with stale plasters on the floor, I’m not the best swimmer in the world, the other swimmers scowl and glare at me whether I’m in their lane or not, whether they are faster or slower than me, and I generally find the whole experience stressful and a little depressing. Phew. It felt a little cathartic to just put it in writing and admit it.
So here’s the next bit.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE open water swimming! Oh yeah baby, seriously, I LOVE it! I’ve only been twice, so it may be newby enthusiasm, but my goodness me, what a completely different experience to the pool. The people are friendly and welcoming, there is a tangible positive vibe everywhere, there is loads of space so I never feel like I’m in someone’s way, or someone’s in my way, and being outside, surrounded by trees, flowers and sunshine is beautiful. As I was swimming along, slowly and badly, I was having the best time and experienced an almost meditative ‘zen’ moment – a moment of pure detachment from all the stresses in the world. I haven’t felt that relaxed since, well, since I don’t know when? I’m so happy to have found this sport, and it’s funny that it’s literally the last sport I would have thought to have a go at – what with hating swimming and being rubbish at it, and having to get in a murky lake, and then having to swim in that murky lake. Who knew it would be so amazing?! Well obviously loads of you knew, I just never believed you. I’m sorry I’m late to the party, but I’m so happy to have arrived.
I wore my new ‘proper’ wetsuit today and it made a massive difference, it was much easier to move in general, but particularly my arms and head, and I felt more bouyant too. It wasn’t too bad to get on either, very glad I bought one, surprised how much of a difference it made.
Open water swimming has also given me new hope with my pool swimming, because with every pool swim, I’ll be one swim closer to getting back in the lake. No dread or stroppy swimmers are going to put me off turning up at my local pool. Maybe I can tie a few weeds to my goggles and just pretend I’m in the lake? 😉
It sounds a little dramatic, but it has been a little bit life changing. I went this week with my daughter as well as my husband, and she had a brilliant time too. One of the main reasons for entering This Girl Can Swim was encourage my husband back to swimming, and to enjoy open water swimming with my daughter – it was so lovely this morning, and it being Father’s Day too, to share fun, outdoor adventures with my family and not just as a one off, we’re all looking forward to going again next weekend.
Husband has just said I can go to the lake early on Tuesday morning. Tuesday is normally a pool day, so I’m scrapping that and getting up early to be at the lake at 6am instead. Certainly never thought I’d hear myself say that?! What a turnaround. Now I’m off to chill out in the sunshine, enjoy the rest of Father’s Day and look forward to further adventures. See you at the lake x