Monday, 10 March 2014

I Go For A Swim

I've never been a Brownie, but I went swimming with a dozen or so this evening.  This wasn't intentional, but when I arrived at the pool, a lesson was in full flow.  I heard a girl say that Snowy Owl was teaching in the shallow end, so I decided to do widths mid-pool.

For some reason, when I go swimming I usually count what I do.  It's easy to get competitive, and easy to feel a sense of failure, so this evening, because I haven't been swimming for a while, I didn't count.

There's a cost-benefit analysis to be carried out in relation to swimming.  It's an inconvenient activity, involving, as it does, getting wet.  I weigh up my desire to feel weightless, against the feel of cold air on my drying skin; the sense of muscles stretched, against the post-swim frizz of my hair; the peace of good tiredness against the £4.90 plus 20 pence for the locker, the avoidance of breathless exhaustion against the knowledge that it would cost £0 to go jogging.

A banner at the side of the pool informed me that a 30 minute swim would burn 350 calories.  I wasn't quite sure on which side of the analysis to place this information.

At ten minutes to the hour, the Brownies got out and the lifeguards divided the pool length-ways.  I switched direction and, as I swam breaststroke towards the deep end, saw a boy surface-diving like a pearl fisher to touch the bottom of the pool 12 feet below.  He came up straight, his mouth pressed tight against escaping bubbles.


  1. for a divine moment had visions of a swimming pool full of squares of chocolate cake yummmm

  2. Love this. Love the joy of the final two sentences.

  3. Oh my... this is poetry this is life

  4. I agree with your points about some of the negatives of swimming as opposed to other methods of exercise, but I have to admit that nothing gives me the same feeling of exhilaration. It's also a very effective way to keep your body in shape because of the muscles you use!

    Bernice Cunningham @ Guardian Industries