As last summer was so wet, I thought this summer, which is bound to be just as wet, I would take advantage of the many lakes on my doorstep and do some open water swimming. More “A very cold dip in Windermere”
I never learnt to swim well at school. In particular I never learnt front crawl. This was because I wasn’t allowed to wear glasses in the pool and therefore couldn’t see what the teacher was asking us to do (I’m quite short sighted!). So, having learnt breast stroke a few years ago, I decided that I would learn front crawl. I had a couple of private lessons last year, which were brilliant and took me from a state of sinking to being able to happily swim a mile of front crawl in the pool. Since then I’ve been trying to perfect my technique and have started attending the local triathlon club’s swimming coaching sessions each week. Through these events I found out about the summertime Saturday morning open water swimming sessions at Bosworth Water Park.
I was slightly apprehensive of swimming in open water, namely because of:
- floating scum,
- drinking pond water,
- swimming in the right direction,
- putting my head under the cold water, and
- the lack of swimming pool walls.
It was quite cold when we got in, but surprisingly after about 2 minutes it felt ok. It took another 5 minutes for me to pluck up the courage to put my head under the water and after that hurdle, everything was fine! The ducks kept away, I didn’t see any fish, I only saw a couple of bits of weed, there was no floating scum and the water tasted ok. I was also surprised that I managed to look up to see where I was going without too much difficulty. I’d been trying this in the pool and had completely failed to master it. I was also happy that the continuous swimming didn’t seem to be a problem and I didn’t miss the swimming pool walls.
The organisers allow you to swim for a maximum of 45 minutes and I think we were in there for 35-40 minutes. That was enough time for a circuit of the lake around both islands, and then another half circuit around one of the islands.
Getting out was kind of interesting. The cold means that the blood disappears from the extremities and so when you get out, you feel really quite drunk… which makes removing one’s wetsuit quite interesting!
In summary, a great success and really enjoyable. I will be back!