Did Not Finish – DNF book – Available now

DNF – Did Not Finish is available to order now… https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09KTCL3G6

Is is our story of 20 years swimming, biking and running. Every one of our results tells a story, even the races we did not finish.

It is a story about finding the joy in racing whether you come first or last.

It contains stories such as ….

I learnt to swim in the 1980s. My dad taught me using the “do not drown” approach.

He made me stand two metres from a pool wall. I then tried to swim to the wall. If I did not drown, he would increase my swim to three metres from the wall, and then four metres etc.

My fear of drowning meant I quickly learnt to swim. Unfortunately, my Dad only knew the breaststroke so that was all I learnt. He did not see the point in freestyle swimming. His view was “Why do you want to stick your head under the water? There is nothing to see there except people’s feet.”

My school attempted to teach me other strokes but I was not very good at them. I hated the weekly swimming lesson at our local leisure centre. I found the smell of chlorine in the pool overbearing.

I have subsequently discovered chlorine has no smell. The smell in the pool was from chloramines, which build up in pool water when the water is not properly clean. A smelly pool is an unclean pool.

If I had known that, I would have hated swimming even more than I did. 

A common sight, in a leisure centre, during this time period was a footbath in the changing rooms. A sign above it would read, “Always dip your feet into the foot-bath before entering the swimming pool.” Supposedly the foot-bath contained chemicals that prevented foot infections like verrucas.

Modern leisure centres do not have footbaths. Therefore, have we discovered a cure for verruca’s? No – we haven’t. What we have found is the cause of verruca’s. It was the foot-bath!

Leisure centres did not clean the foot baths often enough. It was basically a seething cesspit of fungal infection. I got a foot wart. Andrew got a verruca. Everyone in my school class got something. It’s no wonder that I didn’t swim again after leaving school for university as my abiding memory of learning to swim is a verruca, a dirty pool and almost drowning.

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