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Pool Water Lady – in the interim…


On the finish of the summer time swim season final 12 months, swim buddy and I have been chatting about final swim challenges we’d like to do. She additionally knowledgeable me that we wanted do them quickly “earlier than we get too outdated and issues began dropping off…” I declared that Alcatraz was nonetheless a to do on my bucket listing (and the irony-absolutely not misplaced on me), and Shark knowledgeable me of her need to participate in a Channel Relay… And that is when it occurred. I pause for a millisecond too lengthy, and Shark took this as affirmation that I too was pondering about it, which by the way, I wasn’t, and so I severely don’t know how this occurred, however in a second of insanity, I threw warning and any sense I used to be born with to the wind, and located myself agreeing to affix her!
In honesty after the preliminary shock had subsided, I believed that it could be very possible that regardless of agreeing to do it, it could take such a protracted to organise a ship, and one other two people who she would both assume it was an excessive amount of trouble and alter her thoughts, determine that we’d certainly be too outdated by the point it was sorted and never do it as a result of by the point we COULD do it, issues had already begun dropping off, or one thing that was commonplace at our age, simply neglect we had even had the dialog within the first place and it wouldn’t occur. 
Alas, no. I believe that Shark was frightened that if she gave me any pondering time that I might see sense and alter my thoughts once more, and I’ll admit, that as quickly because the phrases ‘go on then’ have been out of my mouth, I wished to take them again. Sensing my sudden hesitancy, Shark was on a mission, and by the point we had completed our espresso, she had contacted Leon at SwimYourSwim, and never fifteen minutes later we had a pilot, his boat, a swim date, a group title and two extra doable group members. Shark was not letting the grass develop!
At first I sat there feeling just a little shocked that we have been truly actually doing this. Sensing my panic, Shark jogged my memory of all of the positives of doing this swim. The guilt free meals I’d be capable to eat (Jaffa Truffles being prime), the bragging rights, the hoodie… I informed her that I used to be in solely on the proviso that the in depth Google searches for any and all doable shark and sightings within the English Channel, because the daybreak of time, got here up clean.  

I had been swimming all by way of the summer time season in my wetsuit, as I’d been coaching for my two approach Windermere swim for many of it, and afterwards simply saved sporting it out of behavior and naturally I used to be frightened in regards to the earnings in Sudorcrem and Vaseline plummeting if I ended, and while I did not just like the to assume that I used to be single handedly liable for any financial downturn they could endure on account of it, I wanted to ditch the wetsuit that coated just about all of me from the ankle upwards, in favour of skins, which required the acquisition of a number of new Channel authorized swimming costumes. All of which coated not as a lot flesh as I used to be completely snug with at my age.

It was essential to swap this early as we had been suggested to finish our two hour qualifying swim for the relay, if doable, as quickly because the temperature dropped to under 15.5oC. That approach it was finished, dusted and within the bag, and if by any probability I didn’t succeed, there can be the potential of one other chew of the cherry. 
The next few weeks I spent as a lot time as I may on the lake, in my new costumes (there shall be completely not one {photograph} of this). The temperature dropped progressively, which I used to be informed was a superb factor in a lot as that I may get used to the decrease temperatures slowly, however I wasn’t satisfied something would get me completely used to it, it was nonetheless fairly a shock each time I bought in, and I discovered that hovering around the shore line procrastinating, and making an attempt to attract anybody that may speak right into a dialog to delay getting in, didn’t assist one bit. 
I discovered fairly shortly that one of the best ‘getting in’ technique, for me, was to simply prepare and get in. Easy as that. No faffing about. No speaking. No hesitating. It was as soon as I had reached toe stage that a number of and plenty of sweary phrases that I believed I had solely thought, truly leaked out of my mouth. I knew this as a result of I used to be dependable knowledgeable by these nonetheless within the close to neighborhood that the phrases DID come out of my mouth. I used to be additionally knowledgeable (you recognize who you might be) that among the phrases weren’t truly thought-about ‘authorized’… had we been taking part in Scrabble, which, have been I a fan of Scrabble, would have been invaluable data, and value remembering throughout a sport! 
Earlier than lengthy the water temperature dropped under the permitted 15.5oC, Shark and I (and Richard, considered one of our different group members) accomplished our 2 hour qualifier. The entire swim was, let’s say, chilly, however having 2 of my fellow team-mates with me actually saved me going, together with the data that completely all of the fishes within the lake can be hibernating someplace deep within the water, for the winter (or at the very least that is what I used to be informed and select to consider). That, together with the very giant portions of espresso and cake I had promised myself, by means of celebration, the second we have been out, modified and I had stopped shivering sufficient to not spill any, which in fact can be wasteful, and to not point out careless. 
Shark and I blended our open water swimming with pool periods. We had hoped to hold on swimming on the lake on a Saturday morning by way of the winter, regardless that the distances would grow to be much less and the restoration extra, nevertheless this was to not be. One factor and one other meant that between shock weekends away, household commitments, dangerous climate and an aching toe (Me, not Shark, and sure I’m conscious of how pathetic this comes throughout, however to place it into context, I stubbed it and it REALLY damage. Rather a lot), we wouldn’t be capable to make it to the lake for five weeks. 5 weeks felt too lengthy to be enthusiastic about getting again in once more. The water by this time had dropped to close the 5oC mark. I used to be conscious that getting again in once more can be extraordinarily uncomfortable, and presumably harmful. Not solely that, however I used to be additionally frightened that I might get again in and actually not adore it, and after speaking it over with Leon, I reluctantly determined to attend till the water warmed up earlier than getting again in. 



And so I discover myself at the moment on an open water sabbatical. Not as a result of I wish to be, however as a result of I really feel I’ve left it too lengthy between chilly water swims to return simply but. This sabbatical is taking place in a heat, who am I kidding? Virtually boiling scorching pool, however that is okay as a result of in contrast to on the lake, I’m permitted to bathe afterwards, and the probabilities of getting house after being within the pool to seek out some kind of natural matter (leaf, little bit of twig, inexperienced stuff, unidentified brown factor) or different caught to my physique someplace is exceptionally low (though there’s nonetheless a really small risk, however we can’t discuss that one event as I am nonetheless reasonably traumatised by the entire thing…).  

And really, it’s not so dangerous. On the finish of the day, I nonetheless get to swim, and because the exterior variables are lower than within the open water (temperature, tide, climate, flock of birds, exceptionally giant and quick fish), I’m able to chart my progress extra precisely (or not, if for instance I’m stopped mid-way by way of a set to be requested if I do know what the time is, or what time the life guard arrives or whether or not I do know the temperature (yes- DAMN HOT!). 
I might be mendacity if I mentioned that I don’t diss the pool at instances, however it IS normally below mitigating circumstances that I do that, for instance when a non-conformist swimmer will get in and swims breadths, or decides that the center of the lane that we’ve got been sharing is the place they select to swim. There are additionally different pool associated risks too, like for instance doable lane rope burn, entanglement (hair balls – completely not mine) are some examples, and likewise self- inflicted accidents, like those that occur on the again of a horrible tumble flip, adopted by the rapid incapacity to swim in a straight line, which end in a nasty collision with the pool steps. I got here of worse FYI. 
I’ve been swum over, swum below, swum into, and within the curiosity of honesty, have myself swum over, below and right into a fellow swimmer prior to now… after which swam into him once more throughout the exact same swim session, and to virtually end the poor man off, then kicked him when he switched lanes (on his facet of the lane rope), which I believe is definitely fairly tough to attain WITH planning, not to mention with out! (I’d like so as to add that I do know this poor man, and I’m conscious that this doesn’t make it one bit higher, however simply to let you recognize, he took it effectively, and nonetheless swims with me… every so often when there aren’t any ‘safer’ lanes free on the different facet of the pool)!

I may go on, however regardless of the ‘risks’ it’s truly not all that dangerous. Sure, I’d want to be in a lake, and sure, I realise I’m saying this – regardless that I do know there are different and completely different risks that may occur in a lake, like for instance unintentionally changing into impaled on a Narwhal horn, or swimming right into a jetty, and I do miss the open water. A LOT! Hell, I would even go so far as to say that I’m even trying ahead to seeing Nemesis Swan once more…however the pool has its advantages too, and while I’m awaiting for spring to reach, bringing with it some a lot wanted heat, yow will discover me poolside… ready…


Thanks for studying. For extra common posts on my Channel Relay swim coaching, please search for Open Water Lady and comply with me on Fb, Twitter and Instagram.