I always seem to come back to swimming. In good times and in bad. I remember having my babies and being really upset that I couldn’t go swimming when I wanted to, fortunately I had a hubby that had bought a time share before I met him, which had a lovely health club attached, we went swimming about three times a week, son no.2 was swimming widths at 18 months without arm bands! Then life got in the way and I was working lots and lost my hair and came down with a deep depression and lost my swimming bug. I found it again in London, it was great to go swimming and lose oneself in the pool, stretch and relax after a heavy day at Uni, and of course I didn’t have anyone to rush home to so could swim for as long as I wished.

Last autumn I started going swimming regularly again, I no longer care if people think I am a big fat thing, ‘I am, get over it’, ‘laughs’. I enjoy the solitude, hubby did come for a while, but he doesn’t enjoy it. And, with his heart condition I think it might be a bit dangerous as he gets so out of breath and I spend a lot of time panicking as to whether he is okay, all the time my anxiety rising. So when he decided he didn’t really like it, that was okay with me. The act of swimming length after length, focussing on my breathing and stroke, the stretch and the glide, the breath in and then out, the kick, the thrust, the pull, feeling the aches lessen as my body stretches out, the endorphins rise after twenty or so lengths, the ease of the next ten lengths as worries lessen and all I can focus on is my breathing as I am completely intone with myself, is simply wonderful. The hot shower afterwards whilst still in the zone is treasure, dressing is easier than in the morning as all my muscles are warm and supple. I am more pain free than I am at any other time of the day (I have fybro) and happier. If I could fit in a swim everyday I would. It’s cheap too, £25.00 a month I pay, all that pleasure for not much more than a quid a day.

I had lessons in January for a few months, it taught me how to swim like an olympian. Although this olympian can only do one length of a beautiful crawl before being totally winded, but I hope to build on that. It has also improved my breast stroke and I no longer suffer with a sore neck from a poor technique.

Since January I have been working hard, I was very pleased to be able to fit in forty lengths in an hour, slow but most standards, but good stamina for me. Since then I have been increasing my speed and at a recent session I could fit in 56 lengths in an hour. I wanted to do 64 because that seen as equivalent to a mile, but I just can’t fit it in the hour.

Then I went to a non lane swimming session which was longer and racked up forty, then fifty, then thought I might try for the 64, which I did then thought, oh well, might as well do 70, I might have gone for the 80 but the session was ending.

It had been a particularly tough day and I knew I was in need of a good swim, I find that, its like baking bread, if you need to let yourself go, pummel you’re dough, you’ll get great bread, swimming is the same. Lane after lane had zipped by and I wasn’t tiring. Try swimming, you never know, it might make you feel amazing.

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