Wednesday, 21 August 2013

First swim

I went swimming :).
After all that is what this is all about...right? Well it is about other things too. It's about personal growth and achievement, raising money and awareness for the wonderful charity CALM and giving my life some focus during a fairly difficult time. But mostly it's about swimming. However up until this moment in time there has been very little - absolutely zero - swimming.

I have lots of excuses ready for why there has been no swimming up until this point, including the fact that I have been something of a Nomad recently. I'm back in Wales at the moment for a couple of weeks. It's been a pretty crazy summer so far. London - Wales - London - Wales - London - Devon- London - Wales - Hull - Wales - London - Wales - I feel like a human yoyo. And I'm not sure it's ended just yet. I was also thinking about trying to get up to Edinburgh for a few days and see a bit of the fringe (& free fringe) although I'm not sure that will happen now. Then it's back to London at the beginning of September to start my London life again in a new flat and a new job etc.

My summer wasn't supposed to be like this. The plan was to spend it in the beautiful country of Greece but when my three and a half year relationship ended - with it my sanity - a few months ago, my original summer plans went up in smoke and I had to think again. The plan was then to spend the summer at my parents in North Wales - more through necessity than choice - but due to one thing and another - and again for my own sanity as well as that of those around me - it hasn't quite worked out like that and I have found myself travelling up and down, up and down.

Last week I was back down in London for a few days. I was there to teach creative writing to 8-11 year olds at a summer school run by the brilliant Chiswick Courses. It went quite well - I think - and hopefully the children learnt as much as I did haha. I took my swimming gear with me when I went down. Optimistic, no confident that I would swim at least once while I was there. I didn't! I got quite close. But I didn't. I got as far as looking for a convenient swimming pool - a surprisingly hard thing to do - and I managed to find one in Highbury. So I took my swimming kit with me to work one day and on my way back I jumped off the Victoria line at Highbury and Islington, confident that when I got back on the Victoria line to head "home" I would be all 'swimmed out'. This isn't exactly what happened.

I got to the swimming pool and it looked great, just what I was looking for. Plus it was just before 6pm when all the "kids would be kicked out" so good timing. However, I couldn't help but baulk a little at the single swim price of £4.80. Maybe probably I'm a bit tight but poets don't get paid enough to spend a fiver to go for a swim. At least this one doesn't! So I left it. Well I didn't just leave. Before doing so I spoke to the 'membership team' of one pumped up prat and tried to negotiate a 'try before you buy' deal. Unfortunately he was having none of it - not even a small discount - and annoyed by his no budge attitude - a handy excuse - I took my trunks and headed home, mentally drained from a day teaching 11 children about characterisation but physically unchallenged.

That was the furthest I got while in London and returning to Wales last Thursday night I continued to find it hard to fit swimming into my "busy schedule".  This is normally a poor excuse - I have plenty of free time to spend an hour at the pool - but I've just had the most wonderful - extended - weekend celebrating my close friend Lloyd's recent - Greek based - nuptials at his - Wales based - celebrations and showing my lovely friend Gigi around the beautiful mountains, valleys and coastline of North Wales. So I don't feel bad about being lazy the last few days and unable to find time for a swim... until last night!

& anyway I've done it now. I've been swimming and I know I've made a huge amount of excuses on here and more importantly to myself over the last few weeks as to why I haven't been swimming - some genuine and others a tad ridiculous - but I have now finally started swimming. & I say 'started' swimming because that's it. Now that I have finally crossed the imaginary line between the changing room and poolside where the dry tiles are replaced by wet, I am fully determined to dive - pun intended - straight into full training mode. Let's see how that goes. I'm fairly confident.

And last night really very nearly didn't happen. Obviously! I'm incredibly lazy haha. You see the thing is that I had decided myself that I would go for a swim. But I was pretty tired out from the weekend and I had a few things that I should probably have been getting on with and so it would have been insanely easy for me to make up excuses for why not to go. However, luckily for me. Quite out of the blue my mate Rob text me saying "Hi dude, I'm going swimming tonight... if you want to join me?..." And I'm really glad that he did because it gave me the push-off that I needed. Without that text I would definitely have made some sort excuse (I'm tired, my foot hurts from where the shower head fell on it this morning etc etc) and put it off, promising myself that although I wasn't going that day I would definitely start the next day and then the same thing again and again, no doubt continuing to put it off indefinitely. But thanks to Rob's text I have been swimming! & I'm already getting into the routine of going regularly. We're going again on Thursday (I just haven't told Rob that yet haha).


  1. Great Blog, and YES, we are going again on Thursday! The speed you swim already you'll be beating David Walliams' time at a canter!

    1. Haha I don't know about that! But it was a good start. I'm glad you're up for another session tomorrow. "Let the games begin".

  2. *thud* ( I just passed out )