Since November I’ve tried to join a weekly swim session with Glasgow Triathlon Club at 7am on a Wednesday morning. I say “tried to join” because there’s only eight places and the on-line booking system is more popular than David Attenborough and places fill up within minutes of opening. It’s got to the stage where you need to camp out overnight if you want a spot.
Who knew a 7am spot would be so popular? But, despite the early start to get there, it’s a great session as, for the first time, I’m swimming to a coached session rather than swimming back and forth until I get bored.
Swimming is my least favourite sport. I enjoy it but, given the choice between running or cycling or smelling of chlorine, I choose with my nose every time.
During an average session, we swim between 1.5km to 2km, which is more than I would swim on my own. So, as a good way of swimming longer, it’s good to join a coached session. On the downside, I also found out that everything I was doing was wrong. Wrong hands, wrong arms, wrong legs. Even my hips weren’t in the right place, and, as anyone who’s seen me dance know, they don’t move.
For the first few weeks I’ve had to relearn how to swim. I need to pat the water not karate chop the water with my hands. I need stretch my arms out like I’m celebrating not bring them in like I’m about to fall asleep on them. Legs need to kick more. Hips need to turn. I need to ‘push’ the water back, not flail my arms like a helicopter. And I have to get up at 6am to get there.
Which is why I ask again – why is it so popular?! It’s torture. But maybe, because it’s torture, it’s popular because you then have the rest of the day to recover – as long as you can book a place!