I could just 'forget' my kit...

Yesterday I went for my first swim of the Aspire Channel Swim 2019, and of the year come to think of it. The dread set in from the moment I packed up my long-abandoned swim gear the night before. My trunks had seen much better days (could be an excuse not to go?), I hadn’t gone to bed as early as I’d wanted to (could be an excuse not to go?) and the pool was likely to be packed (definitely an excuse not to go).  I was dreading that first swim and regretting ever having signed up. After dreaming up an impressively long list full of reasons not to remember to pack my swimming kit I thought about the reasons I’d signed up: to get fitter, to do something productive in my lunch hour and to raise money for people paralysed by a spinal cord injury (like a close friend of mine). I knew these were all better reasons than the ones not to go that I’d been lazily adding to. I packed my bag and went to sleep apprehensive. I’d won the first battle with myself. 

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The morning then followed, and I waded into what was to be another fairly busy week at work. This at least meant I didn’t have too much time to brood over getting into the pool for the first time in 2019. That is until my work came to a nice natural pause 10 minutes before I was due to head out to go for my swim. My lazy list soon came flooding back to me, but I managed to get up from my desk, go to the pool and get changed. The walk from cubicle to pool was a cold one, with a less than warm shower in the middle. Good start.

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And then I was in. Then I was swimming. I had begun the Aspire Channel Swim 2019. No longer cold and, surprisingly, back to doing what was a serviceable front crawl. My stroke was by no means where it had been before, my breathing could use a little work and my kick felt a bit empty, but still I was much better than I had told myself I was going to be. Half an hour went by and I was clocking up a good few lengths. I was definitely tiring, but I even set to planning how I could improve my technique in my next session. And then it was time to get out. I had done it and I could go and have that post-swim shower I remembered loving so much. As I got changed ready to go back to work the centre didn’t feel cold anymore, whether that was just in my head I couldn’t tell you.


Thinking about it I really enjoyed being back in the water. While trying to concentrate on my breathing I had even thought of the perfect birthday present for my Dad. Funny how that inspiration so often tends to come to us in the pool.

I knew that all of this wouldn’t necessarily mean it would be easy to get in the pool the next time, but at least now I remembered my love for swimming and this made me more determined than ever to hit my fundraising target. Best of all I got to spend the rest of my day floating of a cloud of self-righteousness and endorphins.

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