Friday, February 20, 2015

Next item on the agenda - swimming

I have finally made it to my new pool. I joined 2 weeks ago when we returned from holiday only to contract the lurgy. The last few days have been a mishmash of trying to get up in time to go, trying to finish work early enough to go or trying to have the energy to go somewhere new, find out where everything goes and find out what is good and what is bad.

I admit I was a bit dubious about it. I consider Ponds Forge to be such a great international facility and I signed up for 3 months at the gym without even having tried the water. It felt a tad rash given that I don't do weights that often and with the best intentions, rarely get around to attending classes either.

Last night I got organised enough to write down the pool opening times, booked on a yoga class whilst I was at it and packed my swim kit.

Much to my surprise and in spite of my reluctance I assembled the correct quantity of 20p pieces to do parking and lockers and successfully made it there. The changing rooms were unnervingly busy but they lacked the pungent odour of Ponds Forge nappy suite or poorly cleaned loos. The paper dispenser in the toilets worked properly and there were lockers available despite the busy time.

I reached the poolside and set about changing my watch from a 50m pool to a 25m pool. As I did so it occurred to me just how pleasant it was sitting on the edge, partially submerged. It wasn't freezing cold! I'm not the neshest person in the world but I don't have much body fat so pf used to make me shiver quite a lot. I know some people like it that way because they swim faster than me but as far as I am concerned I sat on the edge of that pool thinking, "I think I'm gonna like it here".

In the water, I shared a lane with one man. To my absolute joy he was young, well built and I kicked his ass... though he wasn't so slow as to get in my way. We were polite to each other.

As I went about my laps in a relaxed manner (adaptation only) I took in my surroundings. One thing that stays constant in life is the architecture of swimming pool roofs. I must've spent more time than I remember here because the wave-shaped roof was so familiar to me. The lane markers weren't brilliantly clear but unlike pf the tiles were close to me and large enough to follow so I had no navigation issues. The water was perfectly clear, not like the horribly cloudy conditions of Concord Leisure where I am reduced to swim on a weekend when of is closed for competitions.

After 14 laps I stopped for a rest. I had already decided to aim for only 30 so as not to overdo it. I rested for a minute. In retrospect the sides aren't easy to hold onto so in future I will rest at the shallow end. (When swimming widths at PF there is no shallow end).

I set off again, still out-swimming my companion but he sat on my feet in between rests. Just as I started to feel tired, like I was ready to quit I found I had done 10 and only had 6 to go to hit my target. As I started them I did a bit of maths that if it was true that this was a  33m pool I would have nailed my May race distance. It wouldn't be fast or pretty but a great motivator.

Sure enough, having checked with the lifeguard, the stats were in and I was overjoyed. I headed off for a gushing hot shower, infinitely better than ponds forge, in a very good mood.

No comments: