I know that the introduction to this Blog (here) asserts that I swim therefore I blog but surely in this era of “fake news”and “alternative facts” you’re not going to hold me to that.
Since the turn of the year I have been focussed on trying to get back into the water and therefore the blogging bit has taken a backseat, but having established a bit of a swimming habit of late I thought I might try and bring you up to date.
I have of course been rather disengenuous about this because what follows has already appeared in print in that hallowed publication fondly referred to by me as the comic (aka The Swimming Times). You will have gathered that I can be extremely slothful at times and a cut and paste job seemed the easiest way to bring you up to date with Binge’s adventures in the Pool
There’s more than a touch of déjà vu or even groundhog day about this blog, as for the last 5 years the Bingeswimmer has failed miserably in her annual aim to swim on average a mile a day. Setting out this goal for the year in January it seems a really simple thing to do; after all it’s only 587,000 metres and on a weekly basis that’s 11,300 metres per week and less than 50,000 metres per month, so what goes wrong?
As I’ve mentioned before, the year starts with such good intentions but somehow by the end of March and sometimes even earlier these intentions have crumbled to dust, as have any aspirations that this year Binge might just become fitter, leaner and more competitive.
My editor constantly reminds me, on the occasions when we brainstorm topics which I might write about for my print column, that the clue is in this publication’s title and my ramblings would be better received if somewhere along the line there was a mention of swimming in them.
Simple then, all I need to do is to take Binge out for a dip. After all it’s often the blindingly obvious things we need to do to effect the changes we desire. So will it make any difference if I publicly state in this column that 2017 will be the year when Binge’s mile a day challenge is achieved sadly only if I follow up with actually swimming regularly.
Binge’s 2017 started with a trip to Lanzarote, (a great way to minimise the most miserable month in the year) I was in exalted company, having to share a lane with Judy Hattle, Graham Pearson and Nicola Latty. Whilst I can nearly keep up with Graham, the other two just effortlessly glide away into the distance. Do they realise how demoralising it is to swim behind someone who is lapping you every 4 lengths swimming butterfly?
Evil Mutant Swim Coach 4.0 kindly agreed to set our swimming sessions without any regard for the adverse conditions. A “so called” high quality session (ie very fast swimming with huge amounts of rest) had to be truncated because of the gale force wind whipping down the pool. We rather unusually chose to reduce the rest period, which had no discernible effect on the slow pace I had been swimming at. To put that in some sort of perspective, Nic’s 5:49’s for a 400m IM may have been affected but not my 7:20’s for 400m freestyle.
This session did however demonstrate the fact that Binge has a vastly superior adaption to surviving in colder temperatures. This is undoubtedly because her highly attuned body is more naturally adapted by way of additional insulation, then the racing snake model of Hattle and Latty who were expending more energy shivering than actually swimming.
To accommodate these “weaker” beings we agreed to cut out the early morning session (I accept that “early” is perhaps an exaggeration as we can just about crawl out of bed for a 9:30 start). This reduction in swimming seemed like quite a good plan to Binge until she discovered that they had replaced the extra swim session with a TRX session.
TRX was a completely new concept to the Binge swimmer who innocently signed up for the class oblivious to the fact that TRX was invented by a Navy Seal, and that it stands for Total Body Resistance. So given that Binge has more total body then Latty and Hattle put together it was obvious that this was going to hurt.
There’s something about competitive swimmers that makes them well… competitive. Imagine the scene, there we were, all lined up next to each other and completing the sets of exercises in perfect synchronisation, you could sense that no one wanted to be the first to falter and there was a degree of surreptitious eyeing of each other to make sure you were keeping up.
Why is it I can readily accept the fact that my compatriots can stuff me in a swimming pool but that on dry land it’s going to be a different story?
I can tell you that this deluded view made for a very painful session and the only silver lining in the whole miserable 45 minutes was that we had only signed up for the beginner’s class, oh yes and the Borg were right “Resistance is futile”