For the past few years swimming has meant mumbling through nursery rhymes while bouncing and whooshing one or other of my daughters around a pool along with bunch of other dads and their toddlers. That perception started to change as I watched the Olympic swimming competition; I remembered what the sport was really like.
For me, before cycling there was swimming. As a teenager I used to swim for the City of Peterborough. Being tall and lanky I was a natural backstroker, but pretty mediocre at other strokes. Not that it mattered for my schools annual interhouse swimming gala. Being hopeless at team sports and having realised at an early age that running was both painful and unnecessary, it was the one sporting event I excelled at, much to the confusion of my PE teachers. I continued swimming at university (the pool was good and free to use), but I haven’t properly swum since breaking my collarbone a few years ago.
Driving me to training sessions, my Dad often listened to a Radio 2 program playing Barber Shop. It has left an association that I don’t think I will ever shake off, nevertheless, watching the swimming stirred fond poolside memories, so I decided, once the TT season finished, Thursday night would be swimming night.
This evening I went down to my local pool at Kimbolton School, bought a 10 session multipass (£26, excellent value for an excellent pool) and dived in. After 5 minutes my arms and shoulders were pleasantly aching, 30 minutes later my legs were still wondering when the work would start. After 45 minutes I dried off then it was back home for a large mug of hot chocolate.
It has been good to get back into the pool and I’m already looking forward to next week, but before any speculation starts, no, I have no intention of entering a triathlon next year. I have far too much respect for my legs to start running!