The plan for today was as follows: arrive at pool, get changed, get in, swim, get out, shower, change (no-one wants to see someone in a state of undress in the cafe), get some coffee and depart. Today did not go to plan. Fact. Today went like this:
- Walking between the indoor and outdoor pools in just a costume, in the cold is bad enough the first time, the second time, and after I’d already got in the water, because I’d left an essential part of kit (goggles) inside was most definitely embarrassing, uncool and fl**ing freezing.
- After establishing my line in the non-laned pool I became a magnet to the lady next to me (sadly not the repellent type), who kicked me twice before nearly taking my eye out with a sharp blunt object – probably elbow. I shall be sporting a goggle shaped bruise I imagine.
- Lid on drinks bottle not secure, and so tipped a whole pint of now icy water down me, making me yelp. Real classy!
- I decide it may be safer to move back indoors for the last 15 minutes of my swim, however getting back indoors was more challenging that getting out. I think the door was also feeling the cold and made the most awful groaning/squeaking noise as I opened it, alerting all the other swimmers to my entrance. Running is prohibited poolside, and so I did some kind of hopperty skipperty thing to the pool before stubbing my toe and then throwing myself in (no elegant diving in either, that’s also prohibited – not that I could rustle up an elegant dive... or any dive for that matter).
- Witnessed a fellow gym goes using the communal hairdryer to dry between her toes. WTF? I had no idea that this was actually a thing that happened. I pull a face like I’ve swallowed a wasp, surely if you’re going to do it it should be in the privacy of your own home, using your own hairdryer? Also some of the acrobatic positions you appear to have to adopt to get your toes dry mean that certain body parts that should not be on show are in fact on show. Someone should tell her, but it won’t be me…
- I make it to the cafe almost in one piece for a well-deserved coffee (I’d have cake too, but even I draw the line at cake before 9.30am). I am traumatised and I have one very prominent goggle mark from the earlier collision and eye ache (of which I couldn’t actually be sure whether it’s from the blow to the eye, or my retina burning from witnessing the toe drying incident). I drink my coffee with the utmost of care. I’ve already had one drink spilt down me, and with one eye not fully functioning, I don’t want yet another embarrassing incident before 10am. I may ask for a straw!
Finally, it's a year since I first began writing my little blog, which stared as a way of writing about my recovery, the training and the swim I did last year (Windermere one way). I have been amazed and overwhelmed at the amazing response, and lovely messages of support I have had. After I had completed the swim I was asked if I would consider putting last year’s journey into a book. Going from a blog to an e-book is something quite different, and a lot scarier, however I decided after a lot of consideration to take the plunge (no pun intended) and do it, and finally has now been published this week on Amazon. How amazing (but mostly scary) is that? I hope that for those of you that read it feel inspired to not only take on difficult challenges, but also to never underestimate how far you can push yourself to achieve what you set out to do.
|Open Water Woman Swims Windermere is available on Amazon|