Swim22: Drifting – by Nick Buglione

Nick-pool2So, this was the week the wheels, or should that be water wings, fell off. Much like the initial weeks you join a gym, newbie enthusiasm can sometimes give way to mid-term inertia. Welcome to my world. With the wife and kids on holiday in France for Easter, yours truly descended into a spiral of what can only be called indulgent idleness.

Where healthy eating and rippling up and down various swimming pools quickly turned into Nick and his mates parked in front of the telly with pizza/ribs/burgers watching other people get physical, mostly in the form of football. Wife gets back from France, ‘How many lengths did you get done?’ Err…. not many. Cue, hugely impressed spouse.

It’s not all my fault, dear reader. It’s psychology. We have actually been doing quite well as a family, and as we speak, have only got just over 300 lengths to go. The not so picturesque port of Calais is now less than a dot on the horizon and with over a month to go, we are well ahead of the pace. So I relaxed, I lapsed, I drifted. That’s ok for this year’s Swim22, we are going to get there. But it reminded me of previous failings – the January gym sign-up that gets forgotten by March, the fitness class one can always find an excuse to be too busy for, the cycle rides that become diesel fuelled car journeys… I am a bit of a fair weather exerciser.

So what are my excuses today? I’ve got a lot on at work, it’s cold, my MP3 player’s headphones let too much water in and the whole contraption floats away when I do an energetic freestyle, the swimming lane fascists have been stretching my patience, my constellations aren’t aligned… I know, I don’t actually believe my own excuses, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use them. And while going from little or no exercise to actually doing some has a clear initial upturn in terms of muscles, sense of fitness, well being, and self-satisfaction, the hard work is maintaining that, without the frisson (or novelty) of feeling instantly healthier or fitter.

Now, at least so I avoid being out-swum by my wife,  a 9 year old and a 7 year old, it’s time to get back in the Swim22 saddle. Braving not just the lane personalities I encountered in my last blog but a whole new cast. This actually also happened on Facebook when friends reminded me of who I had missed when I introduced you to ‘Mr Superfast’ and ‘Mrs Veryslow’ – what about, they cried, “Mr Breaststroke too Close to the Lane Rope who Kicks you Every Time you Pass’, ‘Mr Male Ego Who Simply Can’t Let a Woman Go in Front of Him’, ‘Mr and Mrs Maximum Splashing = maximum show off’, ‘Mr Race Anyone in the Adjacent Lane’ and ‘Mr Regular Swimmer Who Thinks he Owns the Pool’. Then they mentioned ‘Mr Led Zeppelin Sponsored-Swim Blogalot’… but that apparently is me.

My other penance for my week of inertia? This week I go all Paul Hollywood (or is it Mary Berry?) preparing for the Diabetes UK London HQ Great British Swim22 Bake Off, a grand title for me and the kids hitting the kitchen creating (overpriced – it’s for charity!) Swim22 fairy cakes to sell to my unsuspecting work colleagues. To be served in swimming trunks, swim hats and flipflops. I’ll let you know how that goes.

The story so far…
Lengths completed: 1103 (out of 1416)
Money raised: £637 (target £1,000)
Current swimming playlist: gone all ’60s blues/country music – Eric Church, Gram Parsons, The Band, Stephen Stills, Allman Brothers (when my headphones aren’t drifting away).

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