The swimmer who hates swimming – Post-Christmas edition

Welcome to the start of our series by David – the swimmer who hates swimming, but does it anyway.

Here I am, back in the pool after a two-week culinary extravaganza of solids and liquids, and minimal activity unless you count the herculean effort of transporting said feast to the table. Today marked my solo return to the pool, a place that, if I’m honest, doesn’t exactly spark joy in me. And, as if on cue, today’s swim did nothing to change my long-standing opinion.

You see, some folks find bliss in swimming, letting the water wash away their worries. Me? My worries begin the moment I glide past the flags. It’s a countdown for me – every 5 meters feels like a milestone. Today, after conquering a whopping 50 meters, I was already looking forward to the next 50 and the sweet, sweet rest that would follow my ‘warmup’. I fancy myself a very loving coach, to myself, of course.

Yet, despite this aversion, I find myself swimming regularly, three times a week if I can manage, with the odd ocean swim thrown in. My most faithful swim session is on Sundays with Aqualicious. It used to be church for me before, a different kind of contemplation, but now, it’s trying to get my coach to focus on the bigger picture rather than my swimming technique.

That’s all for today, but fear not, there’s plenty more where that came from in my chronicles of swimming un-love in the weeks to come.

A bit of background: I’m no Phelps, and my five coaches can vouch for that with a non-swimmer certificate in hand. I’m 63, started swimming 30 years ago, and joined a squad about 20 years back. I love the swimming community, especially the coaches. They’re serious about swimming, and I? I’m serious about making them take it a notch down. So, while I might grumble about the monotonous laps, there’s a quirky belief in me that if I ever stop swimming, well, that might just be the end of me.

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