I was supposed to go and repeatedly plough up and down the pool wasn’t I? I imagine that anyone who knows me even a tiny bit will know that that isn’t quite what happened!
I thought about it a lot (a lot) and then I did it a bit. Then I remembered how bored I get doing lengths and have spent most of the time since my last blog trying to talk myself into the pool again! I’m not sure why but I just always seem to do things at the last possible minute and this, it seems, is no exception. I was always the one up revising all night the night before an exam and I wrote my dissertation in 7 days (having spent 3 months devising a subject matter that none of my tutors knew anything about to ensure a high grade). Quite sharp I suppose but also breathtakingly lazy.
In truth I have done some training and I’m now managing 2/3 of the distance with a hell of a lot off huffing and puffing but marginally less ‘resting’. I’ve had 2 colds (thanks kids) and a flare up of some underlying (and arse achingly dull) health issues which mean I can’t breathe and I’ve got no energy which is making training much, much harder than it needs to be.
Anyway I didn’t want to write about the swimming as, whilst it should be the centre of this, it really isn’t. The mental battle is the big one for me and although I’ve sat in my car close to tears at the thought of getting in the water on a couple of occasions, I have had a bit of a ‘win’.
Initially I couldn’t get my head around the point in taking part in the Henley Mile if it wasn’t going to be a battle to the death (Competitive? Me?). I had forgotten that the one thing swimming does allow you to do is think and, although I find doing lengths pretty turgid, I seem to have sorted a few things out without really consciously meaning to.
So along with a few shopping lists, life plans and complex disciplinary strategies for my errant son my brain has done its thing and I’m now entirely happy to paddle my way along the Thames on July 9th at whatever pace works for me on the day. I can’t quite believe its happened but I have to say it’s a massive relief to have taken that pressure off myself so I can just enjoy the experience
I have found the best thing about training for the swim is a quiet confidence that comes from knowing I’m not on my own in this and that there are 5 other women going through a similar process. We’re ‘walking the course’ today which I’m excited about as it means I get to actually see what I’m up against but, more importantly for me, I finally get to meet the other girls in person, laugh (nervously) a bit and hope my kids don’t end up in the river. I guarantee at least one of them will so I’m pretty sure I will get my first ‘open water’ experience sooner than planned…