I’m back in the pool again.
One of the benefits of the new job is that only two minutes’ walk from a decent pool.
The other is that it’s the kind of place where people actually take a lunch break.
So it transpires that a few days a week, I’m in the pool for a go half hour.
Now half an hour for swimmer isn’t much.
When I was training as a boy, we did about four to six hours a day. There wasn’t a day when my body didn’t hurt. I don’t mean the actual training, I mean the ache in my muscle after. The only thing that would stop it is more training.
It’s not even much next to what I was doing a few years ago to train for the Great North Swim – about a solid hour a day.
But now I’m riding around 20 miles a day, it’s not about the fitness and stuff, it’s about just doing it.
My obsession with getting on the road bike is all consuming, but my first love with always be swimming.
Because I will always be a clumsy fool on land, but when I get in the pool, suddenly my body assumes an air of grace. It knows this is something it likes to do well.
Also, cycling is freedom but riding is solitude and for an introvert like me, being alone with your thoughts is a rare pleasure. When I used to train properly, it was far from lonely, with all my team mates, united in agony and loving what they did. But now, there isn’t a silence quite like being underwater.
So how is it going?
At first, muscles I forgot I had woke up in flaming torture.
Then they calmed down.
My feel in the water was dreadful. That’s the thing swimmers need the most, and what disappears the most quickly if you stay out of the pool.
But it’s coming back.
While all the hours on the bike mean stamina isn’t a problem, as far as the lungs are concerned anyway.
What still hurts are the arms and shoulders.
Anyway, as embracing my long lost lover has been great, especially as it coexists with my new flame, my beloved cycling.