Monthly Archives: January 2018


Before anyone comments, it’s not a New Years resolution. I just noticed the WordPress app on my tablet thingy and then remembered the password so I decided that I may as well put some words down.

I am in a remarkably happy place at the moment. One of those long term things that one never thinks will come to fruition may just be, erm, fruiting, just in the nick of time. I’ll save that for another day though.

So then.  I’ve been doing some running.  Close on 1000 miles last year.   Not exactly Forrest Gump territory but not too bad for an overweight 50 something.   I managed a bit of cycling as well and my running buddy said that I should do a triathlon.

“I can’t swim”.

“Everyone can swim”.

“Not me”.

So she entered me in an Aquathlon and now I have to learn.   An Aquathlon is where you swim a bit and then run a bit.    I’m in what is possibly the worlds smallest event in that I have to swim 200 metres and run 4.5km.   It’s also a really difficult word to pronounce.

“Two.  Hundred.   Metres?”   I said.   That’s like 1/8 mile.   It may as well be to the moon and back.    Conveniently, running buddy is a swimming coach so she reckons it will be a doddle (she is like a dolphin in the water, she dives in and in the shake of a swimming hat she’s done two lengths).

The first lesson was about breathing.   “Turn your head, keep your ear in the water and breath”.   “No, breath in when your face is out of water, breath out when your face is in the water”.  “No” (with a slightly exasperated tone) “you have to breath out before you can breath in again”.

The second and third lessons were also about breathing.   It appears that it isn’t a talent that comes naturally to me.  We also threw in the added complication of waggling your legs whilst breathing.

Lesson four – “We are going to swim 200m today, take your time, remember your breathing, remember to kick your legs, remember to turn your head and keep your ear in the water, remember to go in a straight line rather than that ziggy zaggy thing that seems so appealing to you, remember that when you are up the other end of the pool you won’t be able to touch the bottom”.

Things didn’t start so well.   “Erm’ Rob, I think you have your trunks on backwards and why do you have your goggles on?”  “Bugger and because I’m going to swim and I can”t see without them”.   “But we are still in the changing rooms!”.

She has the patience of a saint.  After four lengths I was thinking it might just be easier to sink gently to the bottom of the pool and then someone would rescue me.  I crashed into someone on the 5th length who was very carelessly not looking where I was going.  I lost count of lengths so at 6 I thought I had finished and nearly mutinied.

I did get to my 200m mark in the end and I didn’t die.   I was even a little bit proud of myself.   Then she said “Okay, let’s do it again”.

I’m pledged to not drink in January,   I have consumed so much swimming pool that there is no room for alcohol inside me.   When you see the staff at Teddington pool scratching their heads over the lack of water, you’ll find me, looking rather like Mr Creosote, gasping in the changing rooms.

I did do it again, and I did it two minutes faster than the first time.   Practice makes perfect?    Watch out Brownlows, I’ll be after your crowns before too long.



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