I’ve taken up swimming. I loathe swimming but it’s like hitting your head with a hammer, it feels good when you stop. I suspect that runners have similar feelings and that it’s all to do with self inducing drugs that the exercise induces: endowotsits. The source of my hate is that I was forced to swim every week, at least three times a week by a school that had proudly built a swimming pool. As a boarder they sent us twice at weekends to keep us cool and to give us something constructive to do, and then we had regular lessons in the week.
My recent conversion is for a number of reasons that are too boring to go into, but the concencus is that it will ‘do me good’, and I reluctantly have to admit that it has. I go to the local outdoor pool that is one of those 1930’s lido’s that has been well maintained and is HEATED. The steam rises from the pool if there happens to be a cold morning.
I’m amazed at some of the swimmers that plough up and down that pool. They swim faster than most people jog, and continuously. They get their own lanes, the rest of the saps have to maintain pool etiquette. We plough up and down but occasionally have to take avoiding action. I realised just how slow I was when I found even the ones in the sap lanes seemed to go a lot faster than me. Not to worry, this is not a race. However it is interesting to note some of the types up to their necks in water.
The other day I noticed a very smart lady enter the pool gracefully with what seemed to be a new hairdo and I wondered how on earth she was going to manage, but manage she did.She did not get even slightly damp from the neck upwards and seemed to glide through the water like a swan, her dark glasses still in place with a discreet earnings to complete the ensemble.
Then there are the titans. They are large women who seem also to glide through the water effortlessly, they can hardly walk on dry land but once in the weight bearing water they displace a very fast bow wave.
Then to the men…well they are a similar mix though none that I have seen keep their hair dry, most don’t have any anyway. Some are real lane rage yobs and none more so than Mr Splashy Splashy, the other day. I’m at a loss how much effort he was able to put into his forward crawl and gave the impression that he was drowning rather than swimming. The ladies were not amused, fortunately ‘smart hair’ was not there, otherwise words might have been said.
Only last week I though I might have a bit of a triumph. I was catching up with one of my fellow swimmers. As I drew level I could see that she must have been at least 80 years old and was striking out for the end of the pool just a head of me. I thought to myself ‘I’m not going to be beaten by granny’, but I was by a short hand. My excuse is a good one, she had a weight advantage on me, she had no teeth in.