Monday, 9 September 2013

mummy's little boy

'Me mum' got a little upset this week. She's not keen on me doing this swim for many reasons (why is there always something in the paper or on tv recently about jellyfish stings, 12 foot sharks in the English channel or a sad story about somebody dying during an attempted swim?). Reading/watching these stories - not least the last one - really haven't helped because her main problem is that she thinks that I won't give up. That no matter what happens while I'm in the water, I will continue to swim until I either complete the swim or I die.

She has her reasons for thinking this. I'm often too lazy to do things but when I do something I do it properly and I do it until it's done. She starts telling me about when I was 6. My swimming teacher put me in for my - what I think was at the time called - silver badge. Which consisted of swimming 1/2 a mile or 32 lengths of a 25m pool without stopping. My mum wasn't keen on the idea. My sister and another boy were also doing it at the same time but they were both aged 9.

My mum said she can still remember it vividly - I have little to no memory of it - she tells me that she remembers being poolside and upon seeing how tired I was she just wanted to pull me out. Apparently I looked up with 10 lengths to go and asked how many I had left - I never could count my lengths - she said that I looked awful but after she had told me just put my head back down and ploughed on until I was finished. She tells me that I just kept on going and that I wasn't going to stop until I either finished or drowned and that she's really worried that the same thing is going to happen when I try and swim the channel. She seems really concerned that - no matter what happens - I won't know when to stop. She tells me that it's torture "watching" me train for it, knowing that I am going to attempt it. I try to reassure her that I will be ready for it but she just asks why I couldn't have told her after I had done it. I don't have an answer for her.

But I want to tell her that although it's a vivid memory for her that it was a long time ago, that I was 6 and I've grown up a lot since then. But the truth is that I haven't really. I went swimming a few nights ago and as I started my warm up - 4 lengths breaststroke (standard) - I felt a sharp pain in my left arm. I hurt it a couple of nights previous during lifeguard training. As I went to lie down on the poolside - as part of one of the roleplay rescues, I wasn't just having a kip haha - my arm slipped underneath me and overextending it I felt a sharp pull. During the days in between it had been ok but the way I move my arm while swimming seems aggravates it.

So what did I do? Get out, rest it, put some ice on it, take pain killers? Of course not. I carried on - despite the pain - and completed the 72 laps I went to the pool to do so! Probably not the wisest decision but don't worry I'm not completely stupid. It was quite sore so I swam a little faster and took shorter rests than usual in order to get out of the pool a little sooner.

And don't worry - if anyone is worried about my personal safety? thank you - but I'll be fine. I promise that if I'm not completely - 100% - ready I won't even place my little piggy in the sea, let alone attempt the swim and once I'm in and swimming, if there are any problems, if I get into any difficulty I will put my safety first and get out. I'd rather fail and try again than die trying... I think.

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